20th Boiling Point Mystery Basket: Frog Legs, Meat Pie and More

A chef makes a pancake at hte Boiling Point competition during the annual Culinary Olympics.
Chef Curtis Bangs flips a pancake along with Gary Ellis and Lucinda Simms during the Boiling Point Competition on Jan. 14, 2020. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

The 20th Culinary Olympics at the University of Connecticut again showcased the skills and creativity of Dining Services chefs and staff as they worked against the clock to make three tapas dishes using a basket of mystery ingredients at the ballroom in Lewis B. Rome Commons on Jan. 14.

The Boiling Point Mystery Basket ingredients included: frog legs, porcini mushroom powder, pistachios, cornbread, chia-raspberry jam, French meat pie, and oat milk.

The Gelfenbein Commons & Halal team of Amy Gronus, Donna Johnston, and Charlie Strong took First Place in the Boiling Point competition, with a winning preparation of Pistachio Encrusted Hopping Pops with Tropical Salsa, Canadian Burger on Crostini with Basalmic Cranberry Reduction, and Jalapeño Cornbread Bellini.

Second Place went to the Union Street Market team of Kyle Davis, Keith Gilbert, and Dan Malinak and their creation of Lollipop Frog Legs with Raspberry Chia Barbeque Carrot Slaw, Asian Beef Wonton with Chili Soy Mixed Greens & Toasted Pumpkin Seed, and Chili Spiced Cornbread with Raspberry Chia Whipped Cream & Pistachio Brittle.

Third Place honors went to the Whitney 3 team of Jennifer Anderson, Ann Marie Meres, and Lynn Zanlungo, who made Cornbread Dressing “from the River,” French meat Scotch Egg with Oatmilk Beurre Blanc, and Raspberry Chia Zabaglione with Candied Pistachios.

Honorable Mention for Best Plate Overall was for Crepe ala Curtis made by the Gelfenbein 1 team of Curtis Bangs, Gary Ellis, and Lucinda Simms.

Winners for individual recipe categories were:

Appetizers: 1. Won Ton Quartet by Bill McKay; 2. Ceviche Style Shrimp Cocktail by Donna Johnston; 3. Beet and Radish Salad by Alexis Saucier.

Entrees: 1. Braised Oxtail Ragu over Blue Cheese Polenta by Kyle Davis; 2. Roasted Rack of Lamb with Sweet Potato Orzo by Kathy Halgren; 3. Jerk Chicken with Mango Slaw by Lucinda Simms.

Desserts: 1. Ruby and Gold by Alexis Saucier; 2. Going Green Milkshake (CBD Infused mint chocolate chip milk shake) by Curtis Bangs; 3. Maple Pecan Baklava with Cranberry Coulis by Sarah Rose.

Be sure to view some photos from the Culinary Olympics here: