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By Johnna WIENS (HSBC Prosperity Hall)

This year’s fourth Healthy Snacks Competition, Healthy Snacks Competition organised by the Student Residence Office and Homey Kitchen, was a tasting event to be talked about.  On the evening of 12 March 2000, nine groups of three to four students showed up to try their talent at healthy snack preparation.  “This year is great.  In the past there have only been four to five groups of students.  This year it’s double,” said Derek Kwan, a Student Residence Life Coordinator from the SRO.

The only rules of the competition:  it must be a healthy snack and its main ingredient must be tofu.  Dishes ranged from steamed tofu to fried tofu to tofu soup, from seafood infused dishes to vegetarian food.  Each of the nine groups prepared two dishes, for a total of 18 entries. 

A panel of five judges, including a local student, a Taiwanese student, an exchange student and a hall master, Dr. Cheung Chor-yung from Alumni Civility Hall, tasted and scored all 18 dishes, one by one. “This is such a great bonding experience for these students.  They are so busy with classes.  It’s a great activity for them and a nice chance for them to do something besides study,” said Michael Cheuk, the Managing Director of Homey Kitchen and also a member of the judging panel.  Students not competing in the competition also had a say in the final scores of the dishes.  After the judges had tasted all of the dishes and passed their marks, the audience tasted the fare.  After sampling each dish, spectators voted for their favourite dish. 

Over 20 students came to watch and support the competition.  Two French exchange students even stopped by to check it out.  “We heard the noise and it smelled so good outside.  We were curious about what was going on. We love to taste new things, so we checked it out.”

The final scores ranged from 71 to 96.5 total points.  The winning group, deemed Healthy Snack Champions, call themselves Seven Chinese Classical Foods.  Chicken and Tofu Soup was their prize-winning recipe.  “It’s no big deal; I cook very often.  Experience helped us win,” a group representative modestly said. 

But it was about more than winning for the contestants.  “We just love to cook and love to cook together.  That’s what we’re doing.  We’re not aiming for the prize,” said Jacky Hui, Denise Chik and Einstein Ng, members of the group Good Morning, Tofu.  Karen from the Hall 6 Group added, “I seldom cook, so this is an opportunity for me to learn more and just have fun with my friends.” 

Overall, this year’s competition was deemed a success.  “This is my fourth time as a judge. This year is by far the most impressive,” MichaelCheuk said.