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2013 CLA Silent Auction Package: Iron Chef Battle
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At the 2013 CLA Annual Conference in Long Beach, one of the silent auction packages was an "Iron Chef" battle between Robert Karatsu and Michelle Perera.  Jan Sanders, Director of the Pasadena Public Library put in the winning bid on this package and last week the battle was actually held!  

For those of you who are familiar with "Iron Chef" there is a secret ingredient that is revealed to the chefs right before they begin cooking and then they must produce 5 dishes in one hour.  Well not being professional chefs (or not even as good as they think they are), Robert and Michelle slightly changed the rules and said they would only be able to produce three dishes each, and that they would like an idea of what the secret ingredient might be ahead of time so that they could go out shopping.

Prior to the cook off, Jan said that she decided on three possible ingredients:  Chicken, cheese or mushrooms.  On the night of the battle, Jan being Jan said that she wanted all *three* ingredients used so Robert and Michelle changed up their strategies and tried to incorporate chicken, cheese and mushrooms into as many dishes as possible.



A few of the dishes served, including chicken teriyaki with mushroom tempura, parmesan chicken with an alfredo and mushroom pasta, a dessert grilled cheese sandwich, a cheesecake fruit tart, and a dessert fried chicken and waffles (!)  Some dishes not shown included a three cheese fondue, stuffed chicken and cheese mushroom cap, and a blue cheese and crimini mushroom salad.  (No one went home hungry this evening!)

So who won the battle?  CLA and the Edna Yelland Scholarship Fund since proceeds from the 2013 CLA silent auction went to this!  (Jan and co-judge Paymaneh Maghsoudi will tell you in confidence who *really* was the winner...)  For the 2014 "Be the Change!" conference in Oakland, there will be another silent auction.  Will there be another "Iron Chef" battle package?  Who knows?  (Michelle still has not gotten over the stress of the evening but Robert says he would consider it for the right price and if the secret ingredient is something challenging like fugu or 100 year old eggs.) 

And you haven't registered for the 2014 CLA Conference in Oakland, take advantage of the early bird registration which ends Friday 8/15 @ 5:00 pm sharp!