ALBION — Six teams of kids tried to wow the judges with their confectionery creations in this year’s “Iron Chef” 4-H Youth Contest.
One team managed to do that better than anyone else, with the Bandana Gang taking home top honors at Saturday’s contest.
The gang of four collected 96 points out of 100 when the judging was all finished.
“We did four categories of 25 points (each) and then we did bonus points. We accept bribes (of up to $5),” one of the judges, Jon Trembley, said with a smile. “Doing a dessert this year was a bonus. Everybody did that. They had to do a drink, a main dish and a side. That was the requirement.”
Trembley said the judges — which included his wife, Brie Trembley, and Abby Allen — ate everything that was put in front of them.
“I obviously ate a cat tail this year,” he mused. “It’s a comical competition, but they take it seriously. It’s fun.”
Jon Trembley said he was a competitor when the “Iron Chef” contest began at the fair.
“Once we were adults, the fair staff passed it off to us because we won a lot and we’ve been doing it ever since,” he said. “It’s probably our fifth or sixth year of judging. It’s kind of been the same competition every year. It’s something the kids look forward to, kind of finish the fair out.” Each team had to have its own cheer and bring up its food meal, side and drink for the three judges to try, whether they liked it or not. The judges then tallied up the points. The bonus was worth five points.
Winning the contest with 96 out of 100 points was Bandana Gang. Skull Crushers was second with 92 points. Coming in third was Rowdy Chefs with 85 points, finishing just ahead of fourth place Kid Clover, who had 84 points. Horse Play came in fifth with 76.3 points and The Skulls was sixth with 30.
“They get a box of tissues to wipe away their tears,” Jon Trembley remarked, to laughter from the kids, when he announced The Skulls’ sixth-place finish. “Every team this year gets Dawn dish soap and a sponge to go clean up after themselves.”
Brie Trembley said the two of them have had a guest judge every year they’ve been judges.
“We have a lot of fun with it. It’s not a pleasure to eat all the food. It’s fun for the kids, so what’s what counts,” she said with a laugh. They agreed you always need to have water.
“Did you guys drink the pond water? Apparently, I did. You could get disease from that,” Jon said to Brie before laughing.
“He did. I did not,” she said, pointing to her husband. “I didn’t trust that for one second. I knew it was to good to be true, plain old water up there with the rest of that!”