Oct. 13, 2009
The Matador cooking duo of Braswell and Schulz took top honors in the food category of "creativity" at the inaugural Big West Conference Basketball Media Day and Cook-Off Challenge on Tuesday at the ESPN Zone Restaurant at the Downtown Disney District.
Braswell and Schulz competed against the league's four other southern California schools (UC Riverside, UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State).
Braswell and Schulz prepared two tasty pasta dishes that were prepared and cooked in a 20-minute time period, and presented to a panel of judges. One dish was a sun dried tomato pesto pasta, and a shrimp, sausage and chicken pasta with alfredo sauce.
The dishes were graded on presentation, creativity and taste.
"There was pressure, and this was a bit nerve-wracking, but Staci and I made what I thought were a pretty special dishes," said Braswell.
Schluz agreed. "This was a definitely a fun event, and it was good to get together with the other league coaches to share an experience outside of basketball."
Obviously, the judges agreed with the cooking expertise of both Braswell and Schulz, and gave each Matador coach a "gold medal" for their "creativity" in preparing the shrimp, sausage and chicken pasta with alfredo sauce.
Cal State Fullerton head coaches Bob Burton and Marcia Foster each took home three awards for presentation, taste and overall "Top Chef" honors. Each coach went home with three gold medals.
The winning meal from the CSF coaches was a "Smokin' Chokin' Chicken" which included chicken, broccoli, and mushrooms over rigatoni with a butter sauce.
However, UC Riverside head coaches Jim Woolridge and John Margaritis took home the "Kitchen Nightmare" award for the lowest overall score. To help them prepare for next year's event, the UCR coaches were given a selection of cookbooks, an Easy Bake oven, and fire extinguishers.
On Friday, October 16, the Cal State Northridge men's and women's basketball teams will be unveiled at "Matador Madness" at The Matadome. The doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the program starts at 8:00 p.m.