Arts & Entertainment

And Piscataway’s 2016 Iron Chef is…

Students vs. Principals: Piscataway middle schools compete for 2016 Iron Chef cooking title Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Team Red from Conackamack Middle School captured the trophy in the 2016 Piscataway Iron Chef Challenge Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
The Green Team from Schor Middle School Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
The Blue Team from Quibbletown Middle School Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Team Red preparing their entries Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Team Principals preparing their entries Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
The Judges: Members of Piscataway's Board of Education and Town Council taste the entries. Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
Jim Giannakis, General Manager for Sodexo Food Service and event organizer Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
left to right: Councilman Jim Bullard, Councilwoman Chanelle McCullum, Simona Alomary, past PWay Chopped winner, and Councilwoman Gabrielle Cahill Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
The PHS PWay TV Crew Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway
The 2016 Piscataway Iron Chef Trophy and Medals Credits: Ken Simmons - TAPinto Piscataway

PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Commons Cafeteria at Piscataway High School was filled with students, parents, principals, township officials, and community members for the 2016 Iron Chef Piscataway Challenge on Monday evening.

In a friendly rivalry of students vs. principals, each team of four was made up of students from Conackamack, Quibbletown and Schor Middle schools. The three middle school principals formed their own team to take on the student competitors.

The four teams had just over an hour to prepare a three course meal that would be judged on taste, presentation and cleanliness. In keeping with the Iron Chef tradition, cranberry sauce with whole cranberries was the secret ingredient revealed at the start of the cooking battle.

Sign Up for E-News

A faculty member from each school joined the teams, as did professional chefs from Sodexo Food Service, to provide cooking and presentation assistance. Simona Alomary, a past Piscataway Chopped Junior winner offered support to the Iron Chef competitors.

The judges were members of the Board of Education and the Town Council. And the high school’s PWay TV production crew provided video services so guests could watch each team up close on monitors strategically positioned throughout the Commons.

“This is amazing,” said Superintendent Teresa Rafferty who was one of the judges. “I think that the talent and the interest that the children are exhibiting is wonderful, especially the culinary skills that they have. The creativity is impressive, especially to see what they can do with just a few ingredients and on very short notice.”

While the young chefs and principals prepared their dishes, guests were served a Colonial Buffet dinner with a menu that commemorated Piscataway’s founding 350 years ago. Traditional Thanksgiving favorites were featured including roasted turkey and stuffing, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, a tossed salad and dinner roles, apple cider, and apple and cherry pies for dessert.

Each participant received a medal and was thrilled to learn that they could keep their Iron Chef jacket.  Then, after each judge thanked everyone and noted how tough it was for them to pick a winner, Team Red from Conackamack Middle School was crowned Piscataway’s 2016 Iron Chef Champion.

“They worked hard,” said Dolores Taylor, the Red Team’s faculty advisor. “They followed directions, they had ideas, they enjoyed every minute of it. I think the team work is what actually showed.”

Student Chef Maiya Dabare presented the team’s winning dishes to the judges, serving “sautéed shrimp cocktail with cranberry sauce for the first course; pasta tostada with vegetables and chicken with a cranberry vinaigrette sauce; and for dessert a parfait with a raspberry-strawberry-apple compote and a dollop of whipped cream.”

Sponsored by, and benefitting the Piscataway Education Foundation, this was the second year the Iron Chef competition was held in the school district. Sodexo Food Service generously donated the food, materials, and prizes for the event, which was a major undertaking to organize.

“It took the work of three additional outside chefs from different school districts, and our own culinary chefs that are in-district, working the stations and roving around, as well as our in-house chefs preparing the buffet and preparing the pantry,” said the event organizer,  Jim Giannakis, Sodexo’s General Manager for Piscataway Schools.

Giannakis said work has already begun to prepare for next year’s Piscataway Iron Chef. “We plan on making it an annual event,” he said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


TapInto Welcomes Letters to the Editor, Guidelines for Submission Listed

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Letters to the Editor are a time-honored tradition in the newspaper industry and now that so much of news has moved online, the letters explaining a personal point of view have moved with it.

While many of our letters come during election time, TapInto invites letters year round. The main rules are to include a full name, phone number, email and snail mail address. TapInto ...

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

New Brunswick Moves Toward Renewable Energy at Lower Cost

July 20, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK,NJ - Following in the steps of growing number of municipalities, New Brunswick now proposes to buy electricity in bulk to get a low rate for all households, and to seek an supplier that will employ environmentally-friend renewable energy sources.

"The city is moving forward on a plan to bring more renewable energy resources to our community, a plan that will help ...


Hillsborough, NJ - Gina (Francoisa) Salamon, 90, died Monday, July 9, 2018 at Bridgeway Care Center ...
Read more
Piscataway – Michael John Doherty, 73, passed away Saturday June 16, 2018 in Las Vegas, ...
Read more

The Somerset Patriots And 9-1-1 On FOX Are Looking For Hero First Responders

July 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Patriots and 9-1-1 On FOX are asking for Hero First Responder nominations from the community.

Nominate a first responder to be recognized on the field during the pre-game ceremony and throw out a ceremonial first pitch at the Saturday, August 4th Somerset Patriots game against the New Britain Bees at TD Bank Ballpark. Three first responders will be chosen ...

First Baptist Church Re-Adopts Church Street

South Plainfield, NJ - Pastor Jesse Nietzer, on behalf of the First Baptist Church of South Plainfield, has signed an agreement with the South Plainfield Clean Business Association to renew the Church’s adoption of the entire length of Church Street and a piece of Hamilton Boulevard, from the Church to the Bound Brook.  Ten people will continue to collect litter from the ...

Piscataway Library Accepting Diaper Donations Now Through July 31st

The Piscataway Public Library is helping the Central Jersey Diaper Bank collect diaper donations through the month of July. 

New or open packs of disposable baby diapers (all sizes) and wipes are needed.

Look for the blue bins at either Kennedy or Westergard to donate!

Rutgers-Newark Athletic Field Renamed to Honor Frederick Douglass

Newark, NJ – Long before Rutgers University-Newark created an athletic field on University Avenue, the abolitionist Frederick Douglass delivered an address in 1849 at a church that once stood there.

Rutgers Board of Governors approved a resolution to rename the field in honor of the time Douglass spent here. The field will now be called the Frederick Douglass ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 21, 10:00 AM

NJ Convention and Exposition Center, Edison

82nd Annual Garden State Cat Show & Expo

Giving Back Other

Sun, July 22, 10:00 AM

NJ Convention and Exposition Center, Edison

82nd Annual Garden State Cat Show & Expo

Giving Back Other

Sun, July 22, 11:00 AM

Columbia Park Senior Center, Dunellen

Bus Trip to SOPAC's Hunchback of Notre Dame ...

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, July 23, 10:00 AM

NJ Convention and Exposition Center, Edison

82nd Annual Garden State Cat Show & Expo

Giving Back Other

Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM

Washington Park, Dunellen

Free Music in the Park | Princesa - Pop / Latin

Arts & Entertainment

Residents Taking Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Bridgewater, Bedminster, Other Local Areas

July 17, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Residents of Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

Big Changes in Store for New Jersey’s Employers and Employees

July 15, 2018

Big changes are in store for New Jersey’s workplaces, with dramatic legislation aimed at improving conditions for New Jersey’s workers. These changes include the enactment of New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act, a new law to help the unemployed, and passage of New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act. Most likely one or all these laws will impact you or someone in your family.

New ...

Would Shedding

How much wood wouldn’t a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck woodn’t?


Enough already.  


I get it.  It is an easy mistake to make, misusing would and wouldn’t.  It happens to me all the time.


“Honey, when I said I didn’t see any reason why I would go to the ballet, I meant to say I couldn’t see ...