Reflection (yay)

Top Chef was a rather eventful day. We created three dishes (elaborated on in another post) and learned a lot in the process.

  1. What did you do well? What did you learn?

Our decision to randomly spice the lamb chops by instinct allowed our main dish to taste better. Since we had an excess of lamb, we decided to grill a couple first just to taste it. Later, we added more spice accordingly after trying the meat. As to what we learned, I felt we should have worked faster and more efficiently in the dessert round. We procrastinated a bit on making the sauce, and in the last five minutes, we hastily tried plating the dish. This resulted in a messy presentation.

2. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

The greatest challenge was buying ingredients. We had several exotic materials (pancetta, meaning Italian cured pork belly, and ramekins), and so after trying several supermarkets, we had to ask each other to try buying items. However, no one could find the ingredients, and so we ended up using substitutes (prosciutto for pancetta and muffin tins for ramekins) instead.

3. Why is One Day important?

One Day, I believe, gives students the opportunity to relax and try new activities. Many of the experiences students can get during One Day are invaluable, and are hard to try in other places. This opportunity has given ISB students the chance to check out new projects and is a great activity to keep.


So, it’s 3:00 pm now and we’ve finally finished our dishes/tasting. The appetizers weren’t exactly what we thought they would be, but it all ended pretty well. Our prosciutto crisps with pear, pineapple, goat cheese, and honey won the creativity point, although the pineapple (mystery ingredient) and prosciutto (pancetta substitute) were more or less improvised on the spot. The goat cheese had too strong a flavor and made the overall taste a bit odd, and the honey came out a bit sticky, causing a messy presentation. However, our recipe was pretty innovative, so we won the creativity point.

The main dish definitely was the highlight of our three-course meal. Our lamb chops were pretty well grilled by Michael, and the meat came out a savory medium rare. We chose to not follow the recipe and decided to instead add salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, lemon zest/juice, and Johnny’s meat spice by instinct. Group Name (Elvin, Andy, and Alex Z) nicely gave us some of their arugula and cherry tomatoes, which we used as a salad bed for our lamb chops to rest upon. We also ended up garnishing the dish with lemon slices and rosemary sprigs (I think) to improve overall appearance. The dish ended up earning taste and presentation points.

Finally, for the dessert, we attempted to make a red velvet souffle. However, we made it a bit too relaxed, and the last few final decorations were rushed and hasty. The presentation wasn’t as nice as we had hoped, but the taste was wonderful. In the end, we still managed to pull in second in the dessert taste category.

Overall, the day was very eventful, and we owe a lot to Group Name for their vegetables during the main course (thanks). Top Chef was definitely one of the best One Day events I have participated in, and today was enjoyably lively.

Top Chef Planning Days 1 & 2

We finished splitting into groups, and have just begun choosing dishes. We were thinking very ambitiously at first, but after realizing the time limits along with the large portion we had to make (25 bites – one spoonful per person), we decided to go with simpler recipes.

Hunger Games

Katniss is a girl from district twelve, one of the many districts. She has a sister named Primrose, ‘Prim’ for short. Katniss’s father died in a mine explosion, and her mother mourned for her father so much she couldn’t think or help the family. Katniss is in charge of taking care of the family at age eleven. She does so by hunting and selling the meat for money.


I connected this book to our hero’s journey. It fits almost all the events. The call to adventure was her joining the games, the assistance  came from Haymitch, a previous Hunger Games victor. The departure was going the Capitol. The Capitol was also the special or new world for Katniss, and so on.


In the beginning of the book, the author introduced us to the main character, Katniss, and her background. Then, Katniss’s sister, Prim, gets chosen for the games, but Katniss volunteers to protect her sister. Another tribute is chosen, a boy named Peeta. The two of them become friends on the ride to the Capitol and the training before the games. Before they know it, they are thrown into the arena and the games began. Peeta leaves Katniss, and teams up with the Careers. The Careers are the pack of tributes from districts 1,2 , and 4. These tributes have trained all their lives for the games, and are generally stronger and more well trained than the other tributes. Katniss decided to team up with a girl named Rue, until Rue gets killed by a spear. The Careers ditch Peeta, and try to kill him. He gets away, and meets up with Katniss. The two of them work together, and end up winning the Hunger Games.

The Children of Green Knowe

Q. Why could only Tolly and Mrs.OldKnowe see Toby, Linnet, and Alexander?

A. I think they could see the children because they were related to the children, whereas Bogus wasn’t. Also, Tolly and Mrs.OldKnowe believed there were children there. In the beginning, Tolly could only hear the children because he didn’t completely trust they were there. But, the children started appearing as he learned more about them.

The Tale of Despereaux


In the beginning, Despereaux was caught talking to the king and Princess Pea. The mice council banished Despereaux to the dungeons. Luckily, Despereaux was saved by the jailor, Gregory in exchange for stories. Then, Despereaux escaped from the dungeons and eavesdropped on Roscuro and Mig’s plan to capture the princess. A few nights later, Princess Pea disappears and nobody knows where she went. The king sent all his men out to find his daughter, but there was no such luck. Despereaux tried convincing the king to follow him, but the king was too stubborn to do so. Despereaux decided it was up to him to save the princess. Despereaux finds the princess in the dungeon, guarded  by Mig and Roscuro. Roscuro smelt soup on Despereaux, and started crying. He wanted soup too, so he let the Princess go and they all ate a huge feast of soup.




Despereaux is a very small mouse. He was the only survivor in his litter. When he was born, his eyes were open. Everyone thought that Despereaux would die, but he survived. Despereaux’s ears are very large, but his body is almost half the size of a normal mouse’s. Despereaux loves the princess, but the knig doesn’t approve of mice. Also, Despereaux’s action’s aren’t like other mice’s. He doesn’t steal food or nibble on books, and he isn’t afraid of humans.




I connected this story to the hero’s journey we did in class. Despereaux’s tale matched up to a hero’s journey perfectly. For example, the crisis was when Despereaux got banished to the dungeons.


Settlers of Catan

Connection: I learned about bargaining and trade. Also, the game taught me how to strategize and expand, and gain resources. This would be helpful in the future, if I ever become a founder of a company. A example of this would be trading stocks of your company to buyers, or expanding my company.

Challenges: I think this game should allow players to build one corner away from other players. Also, the game needs to have some more interesting events, such as armies and conquering other player’s land. The game board should be larger, which would allow players to build more houses and roads.

Concepts: The famine in the game made all the wheat very precious, which is like supply and demand in real life. Players that had wheat or fields that could get wheat, were able to trade wheat for a lot more than usual. The tsunami in the game caused some players to lose large amount of houses and resources. In real life, the tsunami would be like a person losing the money on stocks, and having to sell houses to keep from going bankrupt.

Changes: While playing this game, most people become more sly and greedy. They want the resources and buildings, so they can beat other players. Also, people think more about their opponents moves and the future. By future, I mean what might happen later on in the game. A example of this is building houses. All houses need to be connected to roads from other houses. Therefore, players will have to place the first two houses strategically, so their future houses will have plenty of resources.

Fantasy Writing

  1. The best part of the fantasy writing was definitely the writing part. It was very interesting and fun to use my creativity in adding the details to my story
  2. A fantasy story includes 12 main points. The most important one for me is the crisis. Crisis is where the hero or main character is in a bad situation.  This is when the hero might be on the edge of death or failure.
  3. My favorite fantasy story was Harry Potter. The book had a great plot, and included lots of foreshadowing. Also, the story was intricately written and thought through.

Wellness Learning

  1. I think it is important to learn about wellness because we can learn how to take care of body.
  2. I practice wellness by eating healthy foods and  exercising everyday. I could improve by eating more  fruits and veggies.
  3. I learned that smoking or tobacco products aren’t good for the nervous system. Also, you should keep a healthy diet.
  4. I learned that it is hard for me to keep a healthy diet plan and exercise plan.