Iron Chef Reflects on the Fried Rice Project

Iron Chef Reflects on the Fried Rice Project
Graham Labonte '24

I loved the fried rice project! Not only did I get to make an awesome meal as part of my final, but I learned a lot of valuable skills. The project wasn’t just hitting the record button then stirring some rice, it required a lot of skills. The first skill I learned was how to write a script. The project required a script because the video was very detailed. I had to be diligent when writing this script, especially in Chinese, because I only had enough materials to film the video once. It was all or nothing. Along with this, I learned how to break a task into multiple pieces, or sections. In order for the video to run smoothly, I had to put different sections of it into groups that were related. This challenged my brain to plan ahead, and strengthened my decision making. I really learned a lot in the planning part of the project that will stick with me and benefit me in other facets of life.

The next skill I learned was the use of different camera angles/shots, and how big their impact can be on a video. In order to keep the viewer interested in my video, I had to switch up the way the camera saw me. Whether an over the shoulder shot, a wide shot, or a point of view shot of the food, my video integrated all of these elements. This really made me think about other areas of my life/schoolwork, where I can spice things up, and maybe use different angles to my strength. Next, I had to get out of my comfort zone when editing the video. I had never used the video editing software on my computer, and was nervous when Mr. Talken recommended it. I spent a couple of hours editing about 5 minutes of footage, which was challenging at the time, but in the end I had the software down and it was pretty painless. This is one of the most valuable skills I learned from this project because it is broadly applicable and will come in handy in my schooling when other tasks are presented.

The last skill I learned, and probably my favorite, was how to make fried rice! All the previous elements of the project mentioned all centered around this. Before the video I wasn’t very familiar with fried rice, and had no clue how to make it. With the guidance from Ms. Tseng, and the past iron chefs, I was able to develop a plan to attack this project. I incorporated some ingredients I wasn’t familiar with such as green onions, bean sprouts, and soy sauce. In this process I kept in mind the ‘open to growth mindset’ when stepping into this unknown. In the end, I tasted some of the best rice I had ever had. Not only have I started eating more fried rice, I now can make it myself.

Overall, the fried rice project wasn’t just something I did once, never to think about again. It wasn’t a project, rather an experience that I can learn and develop from. I absolutely loved this project, and wish the best for the other students that will do it in the future!

Watch Graham's How To Make Fried Rice Video


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