Top Chef Challenge

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The roomies and I love elaborate challenges and competitions (e.g., the great frugal challenge), so we were all really excited about Chris’s suggestion for a Top Chef style cooking challenge. It turned out to be a wild (and delicious) success!

The rules: each of us picked a day (over a two-week period) to prepare a meal for the house with a maximum budget of $40. We initially had a whole scoring system in place. The diners were to assign 1-5 points in the areas of taste, creativity, presentation, and difficulty. In the end, we threw out the voting system since there was a pretty clear winner.

I tried to set the bar high by cooking first and presenting a four-course menu. I started with a chilled corn soup, followed by pear salad, with homemade spinach ravioli for the entre and fruit cobbler and cream for dessert. Erin wowed us with baja fish tacos and fried ice cream. Chris made some impressive gourmet ramen with grilled kabobs. But Alex really blew us away with an eggplant starter, chimichurri tenderloin, and bananas foster flambee for desert. Seriously, when he lit that pan on fire at the table, we all knew it was over for the rest of us … until the next challenge!!

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