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Will Culinary Schools Compete in the Salad Bowl?

Football teams have the Rose Bowl, the Orange Bowl and such, but now the culinary arts are becoming a competitive sport as well, so why not have schools meet in the "Salad Bowl" or the "Soup Bowl"? Culinary schools already send teams to huge international cooking and baking competitions, but we'll probably see teams from different schools doing battle in a huge kitchen stadium before too long.

There have always been cake- and pie-baking contests, but those are for amateurs. Today the battleground is filled with professionals. If you watch television food programs you may wonder whether a chef can go through a culinary career without competing in at least one cuisine combat.

It would not be surprising to see competition techniques become part of every culinary education. Television programs such as Iron Chef and Iron Chef-America are popular around the world. The excitement generated by the programs' one-hour battles make the shows seem like the most important 60 minutes in a culinary career. It's easy to imagine a show based on competition between teams from culinary schools. There could be cheerleaders and commentators and, oh yes, commercials.

I can see it now, the roar of the crowd, the smell of the garlic, the chanting of the cheerleaders, the whistles of the referees, and the grunting of the chefs, as the announcer shouts, "This week, a battle between culinary arts schools from New York and California."

Instead of struggling for a gold SuperBowl ring, these culinary education contestants would be competing for a chance to win a gold onion ring. Food enthusiasts would know the names of all the culinary schools and refer to them as "The Big Ten."

Who knows, culinary arts schools may even give a whole new meaning to the term food fight.