Battle of the Pans

Connecticut College Community Partnerships collaborated with Thames River Family Services to raise funds for services for young mothers and children facing homelessness.

It was standing room only as people gathered together in the Hood Dining Room and the Faculty Lounge in the Blaustein Humanities Center to witness the first annual “Battle of the Pans”. This special collaboration was a new dimension of the 150 year old rivalry between New London High School and Norwich Free Academy. Those two schools have played each other on Thanksgiving Day and the competition is the oldest high school sporting event in the United States. Some students prefer food to football, so organizers of this event developed the culinary rivalry. As the guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres prepared by world renowned Chef Dan Giusti, student teams from New London High School and the Norwich Free Academy designed and prepared unique dishes in the Hood kitchen. Culinary students from the Grasso Tech High School and their chef teacher judged the dishes for taste, presentation, and nutrition. Although the rivalry was intense, everyone had fun and enjoyed the festive event. New London edged out NFA to win the trophy, a gorgeous copper pan with a plague on the front. Both teams had to comply with the U.S. Department of Agriculture standards for a school lunch and the gorgeous foods presented will be incorporated into the school food programs. Chef Dan Giusti and his company Brigaid are working with New London Public Schools to transform how public schools incorporate food into their education and support services. Connecticut College students are interning with Chef Dan and college students, staff and faculty are designing partnership projects to advance this transformation. In addition to ticket sales, the event raised funds through a raffle with the prize being Chef Dan coming to your home and preparing dinner for eight. “In these divisive times, it’s special for us to come together in the spirit of rivalry, yet committed to working together for the most vulnerable in the region,” said Tracee Reiser, Senior Associate Dean for Community Partnerships.

Article originally published in the December 2016 Edition of Connecticut College Community Partnerships Newsletter

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