Jan. 26, 2011
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Cal State Northridge baseball head coach Matt Curtis participated in the Third Annual College Baseball Coaches Cooking Challenge Wednesday morning at the ESPNZone in Anaheim. In his first year at the helm of the Matador program, Curtis showcased a variety of culinary skills in front of 10 of his peers from other Southern California baseball programs.
CSUN's newest head coach, Curtis and his compatriots were asked to prepare their take on the culinary staple that is hamburger sliders. Given four types of sliders (chicken, beef, pork and cajun sausage) to concoct their dish, Coach Curtis prepared two types of sliders for the judges' table.
His first slider was entitled a "MataSlider", a Southwestern chicken sandwich flavored with green onions, peppers, cumen, garlic and topped with a chipotle mayo sauce. His second slider was a more traditional mushroom and swiss burger.
As the last competitor in the event, Curtis had ample opportunity to watch and learn from his cohorts in hopes of winning one the event's prizes. Unfortunately, Curtis came up a little short in his bid to mirror the success of CSUN basketball coaches Bobby Braswell and Jason Flowers, who won a similarly themed event prior to the start of the 2010-11 season.
Still, Curtis was happy to spend some time with his fellow coaches in a slightly less competitive format than what they were accustomed to.
"The Cooking Challenge was a great event and it was a lot of fun to get the opportunity to interact with all the great baseball coaches in the Big West Conference and throughout Southern California," Curtis said. "From a cooking perspective, I did not do as well as I had hoped. I think the timing took the focus away from my execution, but I'll come back even more prepared next year."
The event's top award went to Pepperdine's Steve Rodriguez for the second-straight year. USC assistant coach Doyle Wilson received the "Kitchen Nightmare" award.
Curtis and the Matadors open their 2011 season with a four-game homestand against Seattle University Feb. 18-20 at Matador Field.