On September 20th, I had the distinct pleasure to be one of 5 judges for a Seafood Throwdown at the Boston Local Food Festival. It was an all woman event: all women chefs, and the panel of judges, all women authors. Total honor, and a hoot to boot!
Despite the fact that I make my nut on sweets, I'm no slouch in the kitchen, and am known for a pretty precise palate. This was a great way to meet some other food authors, and stretch my taste buds a bit. Added bonus? They wanted us to actually talk about our books, which I am always down with.
I'd only met one of the other judges in person, Heather Atwood. She did a really lovely review of my book. We found we had friends in common, and actually got on so well I came precariously close to burning a giant batch of buttercrunch (talk about getting on like a house on fire!). Other than Heather, I knew no one on the panel (literally, a fish out of water. *sorry*). What a fantastic group: Ali Berlow, Leigh Belanger, Diana Rodgers. Fascinating conversations, cool jobs, good earrings, great books. What else could one ask for?
There were two teams competing in this Throwdown, and the fish was pollock. The goal of these throwdowns is to feature under utilized fish, and show folks what can be done with them. Both of the teams did a fantastic job, but the Fishmongers came out on top (one of the categories to judge is use of the whole fish -- they cooked the skin to crispy perfection!). It was a really close contest, and both teams were super talented.
As the teams shopped for ingredients and then got down to cooking, each of us in turn was asked to chat a bit about our books. It was a really fun and informal atmosphere, so I only tanked a little. The other ladies were on their games, though. Watch and learn, Hallie. Watch and learn.
All in all, the day couldn't have been better: the weather, the company, the chefs, the fish. What an amazing food festival this is. A total treat to step out of my chocolate covered clogs and into more fish-friendly flip flops.
SO: not a chocolate blog at all today, just a chocolatier's lucky day out blog.
Not to worry: I do not intend to marry chocolate and fish anytime soon. Unless maybe we get into making mole.......
Who knows! It will be about sweets, though, I promise.
PS: We're losing the light, but try to get out to see these sunsets. They are fabulous!