My goodness… I could have sworn I wrote about the Friday night side contests… but I can’t see it so maybe I forgot to publish it… grrr… all this blogging is so new to me!
So, on Friday night I was fortunate enough to be an assistant to table captain (Oh man do I have that title right?) It was totally not what I was thinking… but don’t ask me what I thought it was going to be like because I don’t think I had a clear vision… I just wasn’t expecting this… While I was told what the process would be, seeing it made it so much clearer.
So, the teams brought the sauce (this was the first side contest) to the turn in table (this process I explained in the post for the traditional contest) and then we brought it to the table. The table captain first reads out the number on the dish and the judges write it down on their score card AND their “plate”. Their “plate” is a large piece of paper with 6 big squares. The judges are each given the dish of sauce. They stir it and smell it for their first score and then pass it on. This is done with all 6 sauces. Then they are given the first sauce again and they use the spoon to put some on the “plate”. This happens with all six and then the testing begins. The judges dip their fingers and taste and clean their palette with crackers and water. One of the ones I tasted… mmm so good.. honey and chilli I think… YUM
And then… the coveted seafood… and who wouldn’t want to judge this contest? Oh man… seafood like I have never tasted it before… heads and shoulders above what I was expecting… above what I have had in 90% of restaurants I have been to… Fish tacos with mango, cheese grits (and boy do I like grits this way) with a spicy shrimp, seafood gumbo, rice with what tasted like nutmeg shrimp, stuffed jalapeno peppers, seafood chowder, crab in a vinaigrette with onions on crackers – sounds so simple and it was so good… prawns and scallops and of course fried fish on a chowder of sorts… Where do these people learn to cook like this? There are pictures of these fabulous dishes on the picture blog… drooling is optional!!!
There was a judges potluck but we didn’t stay for that, and I don’t think I could have handled any more food!