My brother and I have redesigned the meaning of the brotherly rivalry. Our competitive nature has resulted in years of vicious street hockey, badminton and loose teeth. But as we got older, the winds of change came.
In 2015, the kitchen became our new place of battle. The stereotypical friendliness of cooking as a family was not so evident in our household. These competitions were grueling, and it was always every man for himself. My parents feared the day where we announced the cook off, as it meant a complete disaster of their kitchen, and having to hear about it for months before hand.
As the 2019 edition of the cook off comes to fruition, I want to explore the food, themes and results of the previous skirmishes.
YEAR ONE – 2015
The launch year of the cook off determined that this would a tradition for years to come. The challenge was to create a meal using ingredients picked by the judges (our parents). We had to design an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert.
This was the star-studded event that our home needed. It was lights, camera and action. Our knives were sharpened, our minds were keen and the excitement was rising like a hot air balloon.
Ding Ding! As a seventeen year old competing against a 14 year old, the odds were in my favor.
For the appetizer round, we have no choice but to use shrimp. For the first course , I made braised radicchio and shrimp tacos. I would not call that “fine dining” by any means, but the taste was there. My brother attempted to build a winning dish by making shrimp fritters. His ambition was his downfall, and I took round one.
The entrée round was an interesting one. We both had pork tenderloin. Both of us made similar dishes, a seared, then roasted tenderloin with smooth sauces. Both plates were incredible, both there was no clear winner.
JOEL : 0
The coveted dessert round
Both of us tested our skills in the dessert round. Our secret ingredient was banana. An excellent weapon for a tasty dessert. Joel brought his best and made a delicious scrumptious banana pudding. Myself I created a chocolate banana mousse. Looking past all that trash talking, the judges got a delicious 6 course meal.
Finally, I took the first ever crown. The competition really reminded me why cooking was my first love and it was the beginning of a long lasting tradition. Do not worry, the food gets better with the years, and so does the competition. I will be updating the blog with our recent competitions, leading up to the 2019 event.
The theme this year is international. We have hit the books and studied food history from Egypt, Morocco, Indonesia and China. We will be building a 4 course menu with a cocktail. I cannot wait to share what we come up with.
What kind of food tradition do you and your family have?