Because most of you will miss this and the rest will fall off your chairs and hit you heads and suffer short term memory loss, I’m giving a little extra notice. Paper Chef 24 (our 2 year anniversary – or would be if we hadn’t missed a bunch on the way) is going to happen Friday February 9th through Monday February 12th.
In my role as autocratic dictator of the event, I am also going to complicate matters. In the past we have had three random ingredients and a fourth not-so-random special ingredient with a theme/twist. We are going to expand a little – there will be a theme. And there will be FOUR random ingredients! Think of the possibilities! Clams, Yerba Mate, marzipan and radishes! Chocolate, pigs blood, mustard and bulgur! OK – I would probably use the incongruity veto on those combinations, but you get the idea.
So what’s the theme? It’s February (or will be). It’s a new year (or feels like it). The torture (or delight) that is Top Chef will be over and done with. And we are officially in numerical terms two years old! To tie all that together, the theme is going to be Peas In The Middle East (ok – maybe Peace – and maybe just the Middle East).
I have really liked the geographical themes we have done in the past so the Middle East it is. And we are also going to restart the ingredient list – so just this ONE TIME you can nominate TWO ingredients. Consider nominations open.
If you have no idea what I am talking about scroll down and follow some of the links to things like the rules and past events. You’ll get the picture.
Thanks to my outage/hiatus from blogging due to issues with moving over to the new Blogger, I have grown rusty. So forgive me, please for being creaky and slow about updating you all on Paper Chef 23, the celebration edition.
Making judgements and decisions this time was extremely difficult despite a low number of entries because the quality of the entries was so high.
We had Brilynn’s fantastic menu in which I particularly liked the wild cherry gin fizz and the venison chops. Then we had Culinary Bookworm’s Savannah Cake (via Aunt Em) that looks sumptuous and very original. Then we had Noodle Cook’s menu from which I particularly liked the pickled pork with cranberry jelly and apple granita and finally Chopper Dave’s meal which all sounded lovely but from which I particularly liked the sound of the apple champagne gelee, and cranberry gelee parfait with sweet vermouth caramel.
What to do?
Plus I ahve two categories – and although not everyone put entries into categories and I didn’t always agree with the categories chosen. So I split them up as Brilynn and Culinary Bookworm as home entries and Noodle Cook and Chopper Dave as haute entries.
So for the home category: Brilynn gets credit for a full menu and for great descriptions but loses points for not quite managing a single dish with all the ingredients. Culinary Bookworm gets credit for all the ingredients in one recipe and for a great story. And the winner is….OK this one is tough….Brilynn… mostly because of the huge amount of effort.
Now for the haute category: Noodle Cook gets credit for vast amounts of creativity and energy and work – unfortunately for Noodle Cook, however, I know a secret – this is NORMAL for Noodle Cook! I particularly liked and always have liked Noodle Cook’s efforts to use native Australian ingredients and I liked his efforts to save money for the purpose of charitable giving. I also liked the story of the meltdown and the Shanghai inspiration. Belly Timber get points for persevering under very tough conditions. They also get points (even though this is not my personal strong suit) for high quality photography. I loved the dessert the most even though I bet wild local salmon poached in butter was truly awesome. This one is REALLY hard to decide. I would really love to see both Noodle Cook and Chopper Dave on the TV show Top Chef. I bet they’d be stellar. I have to pick a winner though…this time it is going to be…Belly Timber.