Thursday, October 6, 2011

Half willingly, half winningly

ive told you before, and i will insist upon it again: cooking competitions are not my thing. For a few reasons, really:

- i cant stand people watching me, it makes me claustrophobic
- i cook to de-stress...not visa versa

ok, so that is only two reasons, but they seem sufficient enough explanation for why i am not shooting to be on Iron Chef one day. Yet tonight i found myself competing; half willingly (to make a long story short), and half enjoyably (to be honest).

The comp was for Junior Chefs (a category i will fit into for the next 3 months...), put on by Alexis de Portneuf cheeses as part of Okanagan Fall Wine Fest. The task: create a plate that showcases one or more of three of AdP's cheeses, paired with a local wine. Chef judges, 150 people voting for popular choice, me with an insistance on doing a dessert.

Risky business to begin with, as each of the three cheeses (an ash-rind goat, crumbly yet soft blue, and --my choice--wash rind brie style) are horribly pungent (ok, pleasantly--but adamantly--pungent). But i made it work. Enough to win second place, at least.

i will save you the details of the competition, save only to say that i made carrot cake, and that i was damn proud of it.

Really, it was great; a chance to express myself creatively and put myself into a dish, to witness peoples content and enjoyment from my little cake (the first thing i missed, and still so do, once i began cooking for strangers behind kitchen doors), to feel the energy of that room of people who love food, reminding me without intent, that i do too. And hey, they loved my food...bonus.

So i am tired and hungry (you dont have a chance, really, to try your competitors dishes whilst plating your own), but feeling so damn happy about the whole thing and how not a disaster it was. Didnt hyperventalate once. Doesnt mean i will do it least not more than half willingly.

And the remaining carrot cakes: dinner. Wine paired. Winner.