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Teams Cook & Serve Gourmet Dinners At Solar Decathlon 2013

Originally published on 1Sun4All.

If you’ve never thought of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon as a gourmet event, think again, reports On October 5, the 2013 teams rolled out their welcome mats for neighboring teams to host the second of two dinner parties of the Home Entertainment Contest. The following is from the Solar Decathlon blog:

Dinner Parties Show Team Hospitality


Ana Toledo, decathlete of the Stevens Institute of Technology prepares a meal in the team’s Solar Decathlon 2013 house for students from neighboring houses. | Photo credit: Eric Grigorian | U.S. Department of Energy

During the Solar Decathlon competition, teams host two dinner parties, which are attended and judged by pairs of decathletes from three neighboring teams. Teams have two hours to prepare their dinner cuisine, which must be cooked and served in the team houses. These requirements prompt teams to focus on serving tasty meals that can be prepared quickly using little energy from the house.


Michael Kinard, decathlete of the University of North Carolina – Charlotte prepares traditional southern cuisine for dinner guests from other university teams. | Photo credit: Eric Grigorian | U.S. Department of Energy

So what did the teams prepare? The team dinner party menus (posted on each team page under “Team Deliverables”) include a variety of multi-course meals with main dishes such as beef roulades with mashed potatoes, pork chops with sauerkraut, and fresh pasta with seared shrimp, chard, pine nuts, lemon, and parmesan. Teams prepare different menus for each dinner party, and menus are often inspired by regional cuisine.

In addition to preparing food for their guests, team hosts plan ways to enhance party ambiance, encourage conversation among guests, help their fellow decathletes relax, and have fun. Dinner parties give teams a way to socialize with one another and share experiences over a meal.

The Solar Decathlon 2013 and XPO are both taking place in Irvine, California through Sunday, October 13.

It’s FREE! Public hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily:

  • Thursday, October 10 – Sunday, October 13, 2013
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Written By

-- I am an artist, painter, writer, interior designer, graphic designer, and constant student of many studies. Living with respect for the environment close at hand, the food chain, natural remedies for healing the earth, people and animals is a life-long expression and commitment. As half of a home-building team, I helped design and build harmonious, sustainable and net-zero homes that incorporate clean air systems, passive and active solar energy as well as rainwater collection systems. Private aviation stirs a special appeal, I would love to fly in the solar airplane and install a wind turbine in my yard. I am a peace-loving, courageous soul, and I am passionate about contributing to the clean energy revolution. I formerly designed and managed a clean energy website,


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