Tongue Point Students Learn from the Pros at “Iron Chef” Event

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If you’ve seen the TV show Iron Chef, you know the men and women who compete mean business. Well, the same goes for those who participate in the United Way of Clatsop County’s annual “Iron Chef goes Coastal” competition. Chefs from all over the county in Oregon gather to put their culinary skills to the test and to raise money for the United Way. Tongue Point Job Corps culinary students have been helping with the event for the past ten years.

Job Corps student chef Helayna Erickson explained,

“The event is kind of a spoof of the national TV show, Iron Chef. Where two chefs go head to head cooking various dishes for a panel of judges. Also, here the audience gets to bid on the dishes and they get to try them.”

Tongue Point students served in various volunteer roles including helping the competing chefs prepare their dazzling dishes.

Tongue Point Culinary Instructor Harley Badger said,

“We have a long and close working relationship with the United Way and with the Iron Chef Goes Costal event. We will have about 12 students here today to support the iron chefs.”

Former event winner and local restaurant owner and chef Chris Holen added,

“We enjoy having Job Corps students. I think it’s always good to have students or interns in our kitchen. I think it helps our cooks. It’s good for them. It’s good for the students. And I think, honestly, that it’s a great opportunity for these kids to really figure out if that’s what they want to do with their lives.”

Two other local chefs thanked the Tongue Point Job Corps culinary students for their help. They emphasized that Job Corps does and outstanding job each year and that the Job Corps program is worth the taxpayer investment.

Tongue Point Culinary student Helayna said she was really excited to be part of the event because she found out that one of the Iron Chefs from the national TV show, John Hoffman, was actually going to be here. “I’m super psyched, I hope I get to meet him.”

Over the past ten years “Iron Chef Goes Costal” has raised more than $360,000 for United Way of Clatsop County.