Flatmates rule cooking contest

The My Flat Rules champions who cooked up a storm last month are (from left) Lena de Ronde, Drew...
The My Flat Rules champions who cooked up a storm last month are (from left) Lena de Ronde, Drew Gordon, Helena Odinot and Karisa Webster. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
It's a far cry from stereotypical student fare - but a flat of University of Otago students' healthy cooking and foray into exotic cuisine has paid off.

Flatmates Helena Odinot (19), Karisa Webster (20), Lena de Ronde (19) and Drew Gordon (19) prepared three courses of food as part of the "My Flat Rules" challenge, which began in July and took place over six weeks.

Based on My Kitchen Rules, the competition was part of the university's "Health Yourself!" campaign to encourage students to take simple steps to look after themselves.

Dubbed the Purple Team, the group won the knock-out competition and received a $1000 grocery voucher, as well as learning new recipes for their flat.

Four groups originally took part, after being selected via Facebook.

The first meal was supposed to be typical flat fare, and was sampled and judged by the three other teams.

The second meal, My Flat Bag, was prepared out of a mystery box. For the third part of the competition, Skarfy Street Food, each flat was assigned to a different food truck on campus, their flat cooking with a chef from Churros Ole.

Students on campus got the chance to vote for their favourite meal.

The group prepared Russian salad, patatas bravas, albondigas and sliced baguette.

Ms de Ronde said the most difficult part of the competition was trying to make their meals healthy and balanced - as well as coping with the time pressure imposed on them.

Mr Gordon said chef Matt from Churros Ole was very helpful when it came to teaching the group new techniques.

While all of the flatmates enjoyed cooking something different, all said their favourite part of the challenge was the "spontaneous" first meal, chicken carbonara.

Ms Odinot studied food science, and Mr Gordon said he studied sport and exercise science, which had some overlap with human nutrition. The other flatmates involved in the challenge, Ms de Ronde and Ms Webster, were studying zoology and neuroscience respectively.


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