Restaurant 108 Top Chef: Alex Chin


Jason Altshuler/Sagamore staff

Restaurant 108 holds the first round of its annual Top Chef competition. Chef Alex Chin produced a three course meal inspired by Asian cuisine.

Jason Altshuler, Staff Writer

In Restaurant 108, the normal hungry crowds that typically fill the restaurant were missing.  Instead of students paying for burgers and cookies, the pleasant aroma of Asian cooking filled the air.

The first installment of Restaurant 108’s Top Chef Competition, held during both lunches on Tuesday, March 1, showcased senior Alex Chin’s talent of cooking Asian food.

According to sophomore Dan Schwartz, a member of the restaurant who is part of another chef’s team, the competition is made up of three student chefs that each must design a three course meal (appetizers, entrees and desserts), run the restaurant with a group of helpers for an entire day, and serve the meal, all for 12 dollars.  The chef assembles a team of six to 10 people that help prepare the food before the chef’s assigned date, and they arrive at school at 6 a.m. on their day to start cooking.

The tables were set up meticulously with tablecloths and silverware and student waiters milled about as students and teachers sat at their tables awaiting their food.

The appetizer was impressive in appearance, with fresh rice and a nice variety of vegetables.

Next, the beef lo mein was brought over. Its delicious appearance caused a teacher to change his order to the beef lo mein. The beef was perfectly cooked, and the lo mein noodles were masterfully put on the plate along with some vegetables. Its composed appearance gave the dish a professional quality.

The serving was generous for a lunch and the lo mein was amazing. It was hard to believe that it was cooked by a high school student. The dessert was the least impressive part of the meal, a custard-like mini pie.

The only negative  experience was the long wait for the food, which conflicted with the short lunch block. That being said, the amount of time between courses was perfect, and the delay can be easily chalked up to the student staff being overwhelmed by the large amount of intricate dishes they needed to make.

All in all, the food and atmosphere of the event was fantastic. Every dish served, especially the appetizer and entree, looked and tasted delicious.

The next Top Chef day is planned to be on March 8 during both lunches. The chef is sophomore Henry Shaffer and he will be cooking French cuisine.