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Bridgeport Cook Off Brings New Meaning To Feeding Time At The Zoo

Beardsley Zoo will host a high school cook off to celebrate the opening of its new commissary, where animal caretakers will whip up meals for tigers and the other 300 denizens of the Bridgeport facility.
Beardsley Zoo will host a high school cook off to celebrate the opening of its new commissary, where animal caretakers will whip up meals for tigers and the other 300 denizens of the Bridgeport facility. Photo Credit: Beardsley Zoo

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — It might not be “Iron Chef,” but eight budding Trumbull culinary artists will go head to head Thursday to make a sumptuous meal fit for — a howler monkey?

The unusual cook off is part of the festivities for the grand opening at the Beardsley Zoo’s commissary, a new kitchen for the site’s 300 animals that will allow visitors a window on just what goes into an alligator’s afternoon tea.

Starting at 11 a.m., eight students from the Trumbull High School Culinary Arts Program will begin prepping their meals. Each will include fresh ingredients from animal diets that will be served up to some highly human judges, including Mayor Joe Ganim, Zoo Director Gregg Dancho and local caterers.

Visitors can watch the competition progress until final judging and awards from 1 to 1:30 p.m.

Animal caretakers at the Zoo prepare dozens of nutritionally balanced animal diets each day for the zoo’s residents, using fresh, human-grade foods, such as local fish and lamb shanks, grains, fruit, vegetables, and more.

The new commissary, funded in part with a grant from the City of Bridgeport, offers enhanced food preparation areas, a larger pantry, refrigerator and freezer, and a large window so guests can watch food preparation and learn more about animal diets.

For more information, visit beardsleyzoo.com .

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