Since all our judges this time around (and we have a PANEL) are Australian, many of our readers took Australia to heart and combined their entries with some kind of Australian touch. In Alanna’s case she delved into memories of lullabies and family and came up with the jolly swagman perched beside the billabong, so she made a sensationally rich-sounding Swagman Stew. She also held her nose and managed the anchovy element of the ingredients, a common reaction to this innocuous little fishy. Personally I lurve my anchovies. And finally, I was totally impressed by her claim to know nothing of Australia and promptly reel out a paragraph long riff of Australian thoughts, memories and impressions.
Our next stop on the Australia sense-a-thon is at experiment in writing with its mysterious proprietress, Lady X. She too has memories of Australia, although in her case they stem from her travel journals from the early 90’s and a clearly memorable trip. I have to admit that I got the impression from her reminiscences that this was more or less a wine tasting trip with some other experiences thrown in, although I really liked the sound of swimming in the river followed by fresh-cooked yabbies on the river bank. And, the journal and trip appear to have inspired her as she made three dishes: a Cauliflower, Carrot & Macadamia Nut Terrine; Saffron Risottos Cakes With Crawfish and Garlic Lemon Anchovy Sauce and that quintessential Australian dessert, Lamingtons.
For our final stops on this whirlwind Paper Chef tour, we switch from geographical to the more intellectual and contrasting realms of deconstructionism and architecture (in this case building things up).
First up is the artisitc and deconstructionist magic of the delightfully named ‘magic tofu’ of the less delightfully named ‘slurp and burp’ blog. Using the typically tortured logic of the deconstructionist mind, magic tofu somehow transformed a regular Paper Chef event and about five cents worth of ingredients into the kind of dish you would expect to see at El Bulli. In this case, a ‘soft boiled egg‘ that has no egg in it and sounds delicious and unusual.
And last, but by no means least, we have Stephen of Stephen Cooks (no hiding behind pseudonyms here!) who solved his personal Paper Chef puzzle by building up. As usual his presentation and photography shine with some kind of magic food blog luminosity that I am unable to achieve. And as a past winner (as are several of the other entrants) we know he has the chops (in this case lamb) to succeed with his Anchovy Sage Risotto and Carrot Cake Tower, with Shiraz Jelly.
So that’s it. In two quick sets of entries we have spanned the world from up to down, from left to right, from here to there, by way of nine different entries that have once again surprised and delighted us. Honored panel of judges, these are your Paper Chef aspirants this month. Treat them well.