Students Put Their Culinary Skills to the Test at "Top Chef: Bastyr"

Photos courtesy Elisha Rain
Marianne Rees and Carole Freeman cook in the Bastyr nutrition kitchen

She was a little nervous, but it was a good kind of nervous. The positive kind where you want to do a good job and impress people, rather than the worrying kind, where you're afraid you'll screw up.

"I was definitely anxious, but only because I wanted to win," says Karina Churchill, a first-year student in Bastyr University's Bachelor of Science in Nutrition program who competed in the second annual "Top Chef: Bastyr" competition on January 13, 2012.

More than 150 fans and supporters waited in the Bastyr Dining Commons as seven teams of two students prepped, cooked and plated dishes in the University's nutrition kitchen. Like the TV show of the same name, "Top Chef: Bastyr" gave the teams an hour to come up with their best dishese by using only what they were provided. In this case, each team received a bag of common groceries including vegetables and fruits, as well as a specific protein and a grain.

"I cook every day at home, but this was a lot different," Churchill says. "I had to learn how to cook quickly, efficiently and use the most with what I had at my disposal."

And learn Churchill did, along with her cooking partner: Dubbed the "Upbeet Duo," they took second place in the competition with their meal featuring salmon, oat groats and a vegetable side dish. They were second only to third-year undergrad student Marianne Rees and her partner Carole Freeman, also known as, "Our Food Tastes Like Crop(s)," who took the top prize with a chicken and quinoa dish.

"We participated last year and didn't place, so we wanted to do better this year," Rees says.

More importantly, Rees says the opportunity to participate in a friendly rivalry, get to know people in other programs, and explore food outside of a structured class setting while helping raise money for charity was priceless.

All proceeds of the sold-out event benefited Teen Feed, an organization that serves Seattle's homeless youth with help from the Bastyr University Student Nutrition Association.

"100 percent of the money we raised will be used to provide homeless teenagers nutritious meals," says Teresa Yi, who organized the event with Korrin Fotheringham. "To me, that is the ultimate reward for all our effort."

In addition to that warm fuzzy feeling, audience members were rewarded with the extra helpings of food the teams shared after they plated meals for the three guest judges. Although the judges picked Bastyr's top chefs, the audience also made their pick, awarding "Team Root Down," starring Alicia Armeli and Ellie Freeman, the 2012 People's Choice winners.

Despite the name of the event, it wasn't only about winning, Churchill reminds us: "It didn't matter where you ended up placing. This was a lot fun, people got to eat our food and we got to share our cooking. It was a great experience."



Photo of  Katherine Ratliff and Liz Sullivan

Washington State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Awards 2 Bastyr Students

Liz Sullivan and Katherine Ratliff have been recognized as Outstanding Students for 2016 for demonstrating exceptional academic excellence and leadership in Bastyr University’s dietetics program.

A Delicious Way of Doing Good Business

Bastyr University hosts over 250 sustainable food leaders at the 2016 Farmer-Fisher-Chef Connection, a major industry event for Washington state.
Chinese New Year lions in hallway

Bastyr University Rings in the 2016 Lunar New Year

Year of the Monkey kicks off with Lion Dance in Dining Commons
Students prepare their winning dish for Top Chef Bastyr

“Top Chef: Bastyr” Serves Up Fun, and Funds, at Annual Competition

Bastyr students and faculty raised a record $4,500 for homeless youth at the fifth annual cooking competition.

In the Media

Natural Benefits of Eucalyptus

September 8Natural Benefits of Eucalyptus:

Jenn Dazey, ND discusses the natural benefits of eucalyptus on page 24 of the April 2020 edition of Prevention Magazine.

Pacific County Program Manager

March 5Health Department Expands Services, brings new People Aboard:

Stephanie Michael, a registered dietician nutritionist, was hired as the county’s Health Services Program manager, and is on the front lines of the COVID-19 response in Pacific County

February 27Seattle Based Organization Expands Awareness About Naturopathic Medicine: Welcomes Dr. Joe Pizzorno To Board Of Directors:

The Institute of Natural Medicine announces that Dr. Joe Pizzorno has joined their Board of Directors