The Cook Off – A Creative Food Challenge

The challenge: Our ‘Applied Creativity’ class was having a “creative potluck” where we were tasked with bringing in a creative dish, preferably homemade, that in some way expressed what we learned throughout the semester. I’m an ok cook, but I had a problem had no idea what I could bring for this class to actually eat and enjoy.

First I thought maybe a motorcycle made of Oreos (cheap and easy), or even a pyramid made out of valilla wafers (just wouldn’t cut it). I had to incubate a bit and it took me just up until the night before when I realized what I would do.

I recalled a time in our class where my professor said that the best creators bring out the creativity in others. So I ransacked the pantry in my parent’s house, grabbing everything from cookies and cereal to candy and marshmallows. I decided to pick up some whipped cream and animal crackers from the closest convenience store.

The result was a food challenge, like Chopped or Iron Chef, but with nonsensical junk food. Participants were tasked with thinking of the given ingredients not as what they actually were, but representations of gourmet food items (marshmallows – rice pilaf, whipped cream = mashed potatoes).

The result was a 3 minute mad dash to create the most appetizing dish to be presented to a panel of “expert” judges.

Watch the final results here ->

When everyone else created a food, I created a game. I was able to be creative through empowering others to be creative.

At the end of class, I was presented the “Shifty Shaker” award by a classmate who said I’d been an inspiration for creatively shaking things up all year. Thanks Dave!



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