Stanford GSB’s Top Chefs Compete in Window Wars

Spicy and sweet dishes draw a sold-out crowd to this student-run flavor war.

June 29, 2018

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Photos by Anastasiia Sapon

On a recent Wednesday night, students turned over their ground-floor dorms for the second annual Stanford GSB Window Wars, a Top Chef-style food festival where 20 teams of MBA students, Sloan Fellows, and even Dean Levin competed to create the tastiest dishes.

Over 250 people nibbled from 20 dorm windows at McDonald Hall, where chefs whipped up more than 60 creations including Basque pintxos, tartare, Korean bibimbap, Indian tikka, Brazilian brigadeiros, and more. Then they all voted on their favorite windows.

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We wanted to create a community-focused event that would celebrate the talents of our classmates and bring everyone together.
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Olivia Papa, MBA ’18

This year saw a three-way tie for the top spot. Last year’s reigning champions Jeffrey Hau and Yen Tan clinched the top spot once again with pork belly three ways and were joined by Kenny Diekroeger and Sarah Hinkfuss with casseroles and French toast, as well as Jamie Patrick and Tom Campbell with 24-hour sous vide steak, mashed potatoes, and Bananas Foster.

“It was very competitive,” says Trish Chandiramani, a second-year MBA student who co-organized this year’s event with Yasmin El Baily, MBA ’18 and James Rathmell, MBA ’19. “A few teams had multiple taste-testing sessions in the months leading up to Window Wars to solicit feedback on their recipes.”

Chandiramani, who co-heads Stanford GSB’s E@T Club (Epicureans @ the GSB), teamed up with Olivia Papa, MBA ’18, fellow member of the E@T Club and co-president of the Food & Agribusiness Club, to conceptualize the event last year.

“We wanted to create a community-focused event that would celebrate the talents of our classmates and bring everyone together,” Papa says. “If you like music, there was a first-year MBA student DJ. If you like a certain cuisine, it was there. We really wanted something that would include everyone!” Planning is already under way for Window Wars 2019, and Chandiramani and Papa hope that the event will continue for years to come.

See the photos of the action here, or visit @WindowWars2018 on Instagram to meet all the chefs.

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Photo by Anastasiia Sapon

Winners “Men in the Kitchen” - Jamie Patrick, MBA ’18, and Tom Campbell, MBA ’18, (pictured with Sithara Kodali, also MBA ’18) - served 24-hour sous vide steak, mashed potatoes and bananas foster

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Photo by Anastasiia Sapon

Sarah Hinkfuss, MBA ’18, part of “The California vs. Wisconsin Showdown” (with co-chef Kenny Diekroeger, MBA ’18, not shown), also won with their dishes of french toast and casserole.

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Photo by Anastasiia Sapon

Yen Tan, MBA ’18, center, and Jeff Hau, also MBA ’18, won for a second year with their “When Pigs Fly” theme, serving pork belly in a steamed bun.

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Photo by Anastasiia Sapon

James Phillip Rathmell, JD/MBA ’19, Yasmin El Baily, MBA ’18, and Tricia Chandiramani, MBA ’18 drum up excitement for the competition.

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Photo by Anastasiia Sapon

Tawanda Mahere and Dasmer Singh, both MBA ’19, enjoy a laugh.

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Photo by Anastasiia Sapon

Joanne Poon, Calley Murphy, Karin Underwood, all MBA ’19, serve up tasty treats at their window.

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Photo by Anastasiia Sapon

Dean Levin and his children brought home-made cookies.

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Photo by Anastasiia Sapon

Students line up outside one of the chef’s windows at Highland Hall.

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Photo by Anastasiia Sapon

Jacob Stern and Kat Huang, both MBA ’19, battle for last bites.

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Photo by Anastasiia Sapon

Naomi Laporte, MBA ’18, whipped up six different Basque pintxos and sangria.

— By Shana Lynch, Photos by Anastasiia Sapon

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