Originally published in The Weekly Packet, January 2, 2014
Sedgwick versus Stonington
Real World 101 competition pits chef against chef
Michelle Levesque of El El Frijoles, Krisford Melanio and Jared Gove work on a dish as part of a Real World 101 event on December 12.
by Jessica Brophy
On Thursday, December 12, two local chefs went whisk-to-whisk with the help of Deer Isle-Stonington High School students for an Iron Chef-style Real World 101 competition.
Real World 101 is a program at DISHS that features topics meant to help students understand and excel in real-world situations, from cooking basics to the ins and outs of being one’s own boss. In its second year, the program has a focus on health and well-being.
Kyra Alex of Ready By 21, the organization sponsoring the program, said this event was particularly successful.
Local chefs Michele Levesque of El El Frijoles in Sedgwick and Kristian Burrin of The Factory Tavern in Stonington led two student sous chef teams in a battle based around dishes incorporating pomegranate.
“The students were really dedicated to whatever the chefs wanted to make,” said Alex.
The goal of events like these is to “open the door to whole foods without beating anyone over the head with it,” said Alex. In other words, introducing students to the ease and fun of cooking from scratch, rather than eating prepared foods.
“We have good chefs in the area, and awesome farmers,” said Alex.
The chefs were each allowed to bring five of their favorite ingredients with them to the match-up. One of Levesque’s go-to ingredients was bacon, and for Burrin it was fish sauce.
Burrin and his team took the challenge with a pork dish which judge Kasi Billings said had a stylish presentation.
Levesque worked with student sous chefs Jared Gove, Krisford Melanio and Justin Eaton. Burrin worked with Ally G. Eaton, Morgan Shepard and Logan Eaton. Judges for the event were Emmi Jo Trundy, Holli Boyce, Pat Duddy, Kasi Billings and Paul Zoephel.