Senior Brandon Prather-Huff won this spring’s “Iron Chef” competition at Maharishi School, winning the Sunday finalist cook-off with a free-form French galette with filling and topping.
The cook-off began with nine students, all given the same basic ingredients and set loose in Maharishi School’s kitchen classroom. The top three, Cecilia Faircrest, Amanda Valentine, and Brandon made it to the finals. Brandon’s first-round winner was freshly-made noodles with a “somewhat hot and spicy” sour cream and sage sauce with red bell peppers and Kalamata olives.
For the final round, the students were provided smoked mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and avocado. “I had a lot of trouble with these ingredients,” Brandon said, “because personally I’d eat these ingredients uncooked.”
Brandon decided to go with his strength, which is pastry cooking. He chose to make a galette, a French free-form tart with a flaky crust, “ugly but rustic,” according to the cook. His six-inch pastries had an herbal preparation added to a tomato base for the filling. He had wanted to make a pesto, but the kitchen didn’t have fresh basil.
On top of the pastries, Brandon added caramelized onions, smoked mozzarella, and avocados “sliced thinly, individually rolled, and pinned with a toothpick to look like rose buds.” Prather-Huff felt presentation was a major part of his win.