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Culinary Olympics


Gail CDM
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I have been drafted at work to participate in my companies "culinary Olympics" in 3 weeks.

The menu is "open season" to consist of salad, entree and dessert.

Most, more than 75% of this meal can be made ahead of time, This is also a Themed event.. Food has to correspond with the theme.

I really would like to keep it simple but elegant. And of course....take the GOLD!

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Try to incorporate local, seasonal items -and make sure that the judges know that you did.

I know that it's hard to face a challenge where you can do almost anything. Contests where you have to work with a specific ingredient are less intimidating. That said, choose your ingredients carefully, and go for flavor over form. Trying to force food into a form (say, a napoleon) never really works. Whereas, talking about 'how can we explore olives?' will lead to creative answers.

I would go with tried and true flavor combinations, with, of course, impeccable plating. One of my friends who has won national-level competitions won a pastry event with a plated dessert that was essentially red raspberry filled pastry and lemon sorbet, with a bit of almond cake. I asked her about judging, because I figured that something exotic would win, and she explained that a judge told her that they were relieved to eat her dessert because so many entries were too weird and not well thought out, and hers was simply delicious.

I am guessing that you get to choose your theme. If this is the case, do your research carefully. You don't want to call something 'Santa Fe style' when it is in fact a Texan specialty. Make sure you can answer questions about your dishes with authority and intelligence.

Good luck!

(most people like Italian food, so I'd start looking there)

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