A few weekends back was the 6th Annual Summer Appetizer Party. Attending this annual tradition has been a highlight of my summers for years. The rules are simple; bring enough appetizers for about 40 people, be ready to plate and present to the three judges, and most importantly, have a great time. Unlike years gone by, I wouldn’t be participating this year. Alongside Chef Evert Maris and Chef Fraser Flett-Berryman, we’d be responsible to judge every dish, calculate a winner, and hand out the awards.
Maybe it’s because I didn’t have to stress about creating something to compete for the win, but judging alongside Evert and Fraser made for a fantastic night. Our palates were aligned and our conversations were on point and quite humorous. Nothing like being aligned with your judges to ensure the best plate wins!
Even though it’s a blind judging, the disruptions that occur during the judging are perhaps some of my favourite moments. People will come inside and offer everything from a shoulder rub to a drink refill, all in hopes of persuading our tastes buds. Sadly, I feel like all the attempts fell on deaf ears this year, as it seemed like we had a shield of defense keeping us true to our task.
What originally seems like tough task, sorts itself out with relative ease. Dishes that lack contrast from their ingredients or just make no sense, easily fall to the side as your taste buds scream for something exciting. That’s not to say the dishes weren’t all enjoyed, but 4 dishes in particular really stood out which meant that we had to create a bit of extra space on the podium for a double third place.
I want to thank the lovely hosts and my fellow judges for making this such an enjoyable experience. I know it has already given me some things to think about for my entry next year!