Monday, April 11, 2011

Why Did I Eat This?

With the firm knowledge that every food item produced behind the counter at Dunkin' Donuts comes from a microwave (or a similarly designed cooking box), I should really know better than to get excited about the prospect of a "fried egg" in their Big 'n' Toasty breakfast sandwich.  Unfortunately, curiosity and stupidity are two innate qualities that continue to make me powerless against appetizing pictures of a sandwich most likely prepared in a test kitchen and not in a metal cube, and so here we are discussing the disgusting.
Sandwiched between to giant slices of Texas toast, the "fried egg" was a scrambled egg white with a yellow circle in the middle, presumably the yolk, but probably just some strategically placed food coloring.  The cherrywood smoked bacon was the same shitty bacon they put on all the rest of their sandwiches.  It does the trick, but it gets lost in the size of this sandwich.  The Texas toast dwarfs the rest of the ingredients, and its size makes it so dry that you have to scald your throat gulping coffee so that you don't choke.  This sandwich ruined my Saturday morning, so if you find yourself in the Dunkin' drive-thru on any day of the week, I would stick to coffee and donuts.  Buen provecho.

Monday, April 04, 2011

After 45 Courses, a Winner is Crowned, or, I Had Dinner with Questlove Last Night

Last night, I had the distinguished honor of judging my first cookoff.  While I fully expected my first judges' panel to be for something more along the lines of a Rotary Club Chili Cookoff, this one was certainly more A-list, and I found myself seated among Philly food folks Drew Lazor and Audrey Claire Taichman, as well as Sasha Grey and the host, Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson.  Inwardly, I thought to myself, "How the fuck did I wind up here?"  Outwardly, I donned my Hill-side tie and (hopefully) held my own with my winning smile and freshly trimmed beard.

The event was intimate, probably no more than 50 people, creating an excellent opportunity to network and/or make jackass comments to Mr. Thompson like, "With a name like Jazzy Jeff, he should probably be on time." (Turns out Jazzy had babysitter issues)  Being on the panel, I got to taste and judge five courses from nine different chefs, including Scott Schroeder from SPTR and Kenny Bush from Bistrot la Minette (Kenny came in first, winning the opportunity to cook backstage at The Roots Picnic).  I haven't eaten that much since the Pastrami Challenge, and while certainly fun, such caloric excess is challenging to say the least.

As an added bonus, I got to meet Top Cheftestant and 10 Arts Chef de Cuisine Jen Carroll, who will be cooking with steely blue-eyed Eric Ripert later this month.  Hopefully this won't be my last judges' panel, but if it is, I can at least check both "Meet ?uestlove" and "Eat fried PB&J" off the bucket list.  Buen provecho.