Iron Chef Goya . . . The Results Are In!

Last week we held our long awaited Iron Chef . . . GOYA competition.  If you can’t remember why on Earth we were having an Iron Chef competition I suggest you check out this post to get all caught up.

I think I speak for the entire office when I say I was pleasantly surprised when I started seeing the ingredients being compiled; people were taking this seriously!  We all laughed at the ingredient combinations when we randomly selected them, but I must say our competitors came up with some amazing (and unexpected) recipes!

The office was abuzz from the moment people started arriving, with vague talk about what they were planning to create – all while trying to keep their dishes a secret.  Participants started calling dibs on cooking equipment, counter space and serving utensils early on.  But around 11am is when things started heating up.


It actually felt like we were on the set of a real cooking show; luckily there was no official countdown clock and no high powered set lights beating down on us.  It was organized (and hilarious) chaos . . . people were cooking, chopping, mixing . . . running back and forth from the one shared sink; the aroma of olive oil, cilantro, and garlic filled our office.

Judging went like this:

  • 1-5 for presentation
  • 1-20 for taste
  • 1 additional point for extra GOYA products used (maximum of 5)
  • The person with the highest score wins

Once everyone was ready we placed the plates side by side and had the judges take their first pass just looking at the presentation.  Once the presentation scores were noted it was time to dig in!  Luckily each contestant made enough for the majority of the office to taste the dishes as well.  We had everything from empanadas, to crispy quinoa sliders, to pork and pears with mango salsa, to bean brownies.  There was truly something for everyone.

photo 12014-05-08 12.47.04

It was a quiet lunch while everyone was busy tasting, judging, and sneaking back for seconds.  Once lunch was over it was time to tally the scores.  Since 3 of the 5 judges were also competitors (don’t worry they didn’t judge their own) we took an average of all the scores.  The top 5 were separated by less than 2.5 points, so those extra GOYA products really came in to play!

Here are the final results:

  1. Bret, Guava Stuffed Chicken with Tequila Cream Sauce – 24 points
  2. Andy, Guava Glazed Pork Tenderloin – 23.2 points
  3. Mike, Crockpot Pork and Pears with Mango Salsa – 22.75
  4. Sara, Refried Bean Brownies with Mango Cream Cheese Frosting – 22
  5. Nancy, Arroz con Pollo – 21.6
  6. Josh, Crispy Quinoa Sliders – 20.8
  7. Evelyn, Chorizo and Potato Empanadas – 20
  8. Zach Somsel-Longmore, Puerto Rican Rice and Beans – 19.8
  9. Susan, Ultimate Paleo Chili – 18
  10. Zach Wester, Spicy Quinoa with Sweet Potatoes – 16

Thanks again to GOYA for sending along the gift basket and sparking this whole competition!  Click here to see an interactive book of all the creative recipes.