The Johnald digests apprentices’ efforts

The three finalists of the Queen’s Apprentice pose after emerging from the sixth round.
The three finalists of the Queen’s Apprentice pose after emerging from the sixth round.
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Review: Queen’s Apprentice @ Alfie’s

If you’ve ever wondered what it’d take to successfully design and market a Quizno’s sub, then look no further than the winners of the Queen’s Apprentice Quizno’s Sub Challenge, Team Cream.

In the sixth instalment of the Queen’s Apprentice Boardroom, held at Alfie’s this past Tuesday, each team prepared their sub to be judged by “the Johnald”—School of Business professor John Pliniussen.

Team Cream—John Uhren, Law ’08, and Kate Cibrowski, ArtSci ’08—was the last contender of the night. Their sub, the “Vienna Roasted Garlic Chicken,” was the most ordinary sub in the competition, featuring chicken, bacon, red onions and garlic spread.

But, it turns out that ordinary isn’t always a bad thing.

“[It] tastes better than everyone else’s,” said the Johnald after his taste test.

First up in the boardroom were the members of Team Short Bus, Kevin Laughren, Comm ’08, and Andrew Cooke, ArtSci ’06. Their sub was named the “Tahoe Chicken Chili” and it included such ingredients as chili, chicken, mozzarella cheese and Goldfish crackers.

When the Johnald asked them to explain their thinking, Laughren said they’d taken “a guy-centered approach.”

“[We were] going for a south-west cowboy feel … the fish is definitely there for the crunch,” Laughren explained.

Among the highlights of their Quizno’s footage was the rap performed by Cooke as the boys were waiting for their sub to toast. He was accompanied by Laughren, who played backup on the tongs.

The Johnald’s response to their creation? “The fish are interesting—it’s kind of spicy. Spice is good.”

Next up was Team Jenadem. Unfortunately, Adam Conn, Comm ’08, wasn’t able to make the show this week, so Jenna Mawjee, ArtSci ’06, had to face the panel by herself. Team Jenadem created the ‘Zesty Chicken Parmesan,’ which featured chicken, mozzarella cheese, lettuce, marinara sauce, and garlic spread. After tasting Team Jenadem’s sub, the Johnald said, “It’s worse than the first one. Ouch!”

Voting Quizno’s customers decided the winner of the sub challenge. The Quizno’s on Princess St. featured photos and descriptions of the four subs, and customers could vote for one of the three subs made by the Apprentice teams, or for the control sub, the “Quizno’s Honey Bacon Club.”

Team Cream’s “Vienna Roasted Garlic Chicken” won with 38.7 per cent of the votes. Team Jenadem’s “Zesty Chicken Parmesan” came in second with 29.3 per cent. In third place, was Team Short Bus’s “Tahoe Chicken Chili,” which managed to beat out “Quizno’s Honey Bacon Club,” which came in with only 8.9 per cent of the votes.

By virtue of their huge win, Team Cream was given amnesty and will receive a benefit going into the seventh and final round of competition. For Laughren, Cooke, and Mawjee, however, it was back to the boardroom where two of them would be fired.

After a brief meeting with the apprentices, the Johnald fired Mawjee because Team Jenadem’s sub was less inventive than Team Short Bus’. This left the Johnald with a tough decision: how to decide which of Team Short Bus’ members would be his second fire.

The Johnald pitted Laughren and Cooke against one another, first in a battle of ingenuity and second in a battle of words.

To test the contestants’ ability to make tough choices, the Johnald suggested a game of “Hunter, Bear, Ninja,” which is essentially a full-body version of “Rock, Paper, Scissors.”

Neither player was familiar with the game, but after some practice with the actions, Cooke went for “Bear” and Laughren, in a surprise move, mimed “Nuke.”

As a result, another challenge was needed, so the Johnald had the boys perform “The Yummy Sub Wrap,” which they made up on the spot.

After their compelling performances, it didn’t take the Johnald long to decide what to do. Laughren went to join Team Cream on stage, and Cooke was fired.

The Johnald presented the three finalists, Cibrowski, Uhren, and Laughren, with the final task of the Queen’s Apprentice: how to make Alfie’s into a multi-night bar.

Laughren divulged some of his budding plan to the Journal.

“I’m the kinda guy who goes out five or six times a week, so I’m gonna try to go for the alcoholic crowd and make this their spot.” Executive producers Sean Roberts and Kimberley Mosher, both Comm ’08, said they are happy with the way the show has gone this year.

“We’ve spent a solid seven months on this,” Mosher said.

Roberts agreed.

“It’s a massive effort … it’s not a small undertaking at all.”

Cooke stuck around until the end of the show, and expressed disbelief over the way he lost.

“I can’t believe that I lost a business challenge in a rap battle. That’s the one place that I thought for sure I’d have the advantage.”

The seventh and final Queen’s Apprentice Boardroom will be held at Alfie’s on Tuesday, March 28. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.

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