Iron Chef returns for a second year

Proceeds from cooking competition will benefit Camas School District students

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Last year's Iron Chef competitors inspect the various dinner ingredients to ensure the quality of the items. The 2011 event will be held at Camas Meadows. It is a benefit for the Camas Educational Foundation.

Two teams. Fun rivalry. A great cause.

This is how organizers describe the second annual Iron Chef event, hosted by the Camas Educational Foundation.

Last year, the competition raised more than $4,000 for local students. Organizers are hoping to exceed that amount this time around.

“[We want to] support our district’s creative and dedicated teachers, and proceeds from Iron Chef will be added to the CEF grant budget,” organizer Deborah Mrazek said.

For those who are unfamiliar, Iron Chef is a cook-off contest, typically between two teams. They are given a few secret ingredients, with a choice of others to accompany it, and in 70 minutes must create a three-course meal. “Celebrity” judges determine a winner.

Last year, Chef Peter Echeverio’s team won with a mouth-watering dinner of Asian duck salad with black sesame seeds and a ginger mascarpone, strawberries and coconut macaroons. He is back with this year, and his team members include Skyridge Middle School Principal Aaron Smith, Camas High School student Amanda Kern and community member Brian Kuhta.

Team two will consist of Applewood Restaurant owner and chef Peter Gallin, Liberty Middle School Principal Marilyn Boerke, Hayes Freedom High School student Kurtis Moody and community member Ken Navidi.

Due to the popularity of the event last year, it will be held at Camas Meadows, which will accommodate a larger number of people.

“Given how popular the event was, we decided to take a risk and expand,” Mrazek said.

The event will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 27 at 4105 N.W. Camas Meadows Drive. Tickets are $30 each and include a beverage coupon and appetizers, to enjoy while watching the cooking teams in action.

Pre-registration is available at and by sending a check for the appropriate amount to the Camas Educational Foundation, 841 N.W. 22nd Ave., Camas, WA 98607. Note “Camas Iron Chef” on the memo portion.

“It’s a great way to have a very fun Wednesday evening and support a great cause: innovation and enhancement across the Camas School District,” Mrazek said.