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Colleges compete for culinary kudos

Commons looked like the set of Top Chef last night as undergrads from Yale’s 12 residential colleges competed in the annual Final Cut student culinary competition.

On one side of the cavernous dining hall, student cooking teams competed for the prize, while on the other side, a dozen vendors who partnered with Yale Dining offered complimentary food samples for the 1,000 students, faculty, and staff who attended the event.

The competition—now in its seventh year—was cohosted by Yale Dining and the Yale College Council. Competitors had 60 minutes to prepare an appetizer and entrée with the ingredients provided; this year, it was Alaskan cod, chicken, Bush’s beans, mushrooms, and olive oil.

A panel of judges—Yale College dean Jonathan Holloway ’95PhD, university president Peter Salovey ’86PhD, and celebrity chef Ming Tsai ’86— evaluated each of the dishes and selected the winner. Silliman’s team, led by repeating champion Hallie Meyer ’16, emerged with the prize.

The competition was also a chance for colleges to display their spirit. Mascots wandered between the food booths, and residential colleges gathered to cheer on their competitors. Student MCs broadcast the event live on a large screen in the dining hall, interviewing students, contestants, and judges throughout the night.

Yale College Council President Michael Herbert ’15 said he was “having a ball,” adding that the YCC and Yale dining wanted to give people a special night with “great food, great company and school spirit.”

“It’s a great celebration of cooking and food on Yale’s campus,” said Nicole DeSantis ’15, who competed in the competition as a sophomore. “We have a lot of people who are interested in cooking and restaurants, and this gives the whole campus a chance to appreciate that.”


The Yale Alumni Magazine is published by Yale Alumni Publications Inc., an alumni-based nonprofit that is not run by Yale University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration.

Filed under Final Cut, food
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