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Senior Brendan Medlin Strives for Greatness in Iron Chef Competition

Calm and Collected Cooking


Credit to Kaili Martin

Senior Brendan Medlin holds the victory rolling pin with his Iron Chef team after their first place win.

By David Hernandez, Excalibur Reporter

This year the Iron Chef Team maintained their status as reigning champions with an exotic menu coming from Brazil. The team came from a wide array of experiences with cooking and motivations for their craft, noticeably one being senior Brendan Medlin, who has been cooking for most of his life with his father and has had two years of kitchen experience under his belt. With an attention to detail, and a drive towards perfection, Medlin was a vital member of the team that once again took first place in the competition.

“He wants everything to be perfect, and he strives toward perfection,” Rebecca Just, FACS teacher and Iron Chef Team Sponsor, said. “And if he doesn’t know how to do it, he’s not afraid to ask. He has gotten a lot more confident as well.”

Medlin has taken Foods 2, as he was exempted from the prerequisite Foods 1, and is currently taking Culinary Arts. He learned how to cook from a young age from his father and cooks dishes such as fettuccine alfredo and chicken salad at home. He works in the kitchen of RT Weiler’s Food and Spirits on Main Street St. Charles.

“I thought I was good for the team and I wanted to put my skills to the test,” Medlin said “These were dishes I hadn’t really made before.”

Students taking Culinary Arts were eligible to apply to be part of the five person team along with one table decorator and one dish washer for a total of seven. The theme of the overall competition was Fast and Furious Food Trucks and involved creating dishes that could be easily and quickly prepared as if in a food truck. Team FHN decided to pay homage to the Fast and Furious film series, specifically Fast and Furious 5 which inspired a spread of Brazilian food from its setting in Rio de Janeiro, which they practiced weekly in preparation for the competition.

“He has a lot of background knowledge and he isn’t scared to try anything,” Just said. “He knows about the hustle and bustle and how fast things have to go and he works right into that.”

Medlin was eager to join the team after hearing about it and was one of the first to apply for the team at the beginning of the year. Together with the team they prepared coconut and verde shrimp, along with Brazilian stew with mashed plantain and with cupcakes for dessert. This ultimately led to the team taking first place for a fourth year against FHC, FHHS and FHU in the competition.

“Cooking is very therapeutic,” Medlin said. “When you’re under pressure you can just go into the kitchen and relieve some of that stress and in the end you get to taste what you created.”