Thursday, June 13th, 2019 marks a special day to remember for the summer students at Cassels Brock. We hurried out our offices early and ventured out into the city to experience an evening of creative catering fun at The Edible Story. If there’s one thing we all have in common, it’s our love for food, so we knew from the outset that this was going to be a deliciously good night.
CBB put a twist on the traditional cooking class. Rather than receiving step-by-step instructions from a trusted chef, the students were thrown into the deep end without expert cooking skills. We formed multiple teams and squared off in a “chopped” style challenge.
The task at hand was great. Two opposing teams had 15 minutes each to create a unique tasty dish with surprise ingredients that were uncovered on the countertops (plus whatever else you could get your hands on in the kitchen) . After the teams customized their menus, the dishes would be judged by the Student Committee (no pressure). Presentation was key. But the right blend of flavours was paramount.
1. Round one: appetizers
The first round was to create an appetizer, which featured radish, mushrooms, spring mix salad and pepitas (no shell pumpkin seeds). Team One (my team) sautéed their mushrooms in a caramelized sauce, and delicately stacked it in a well-seasoned salad. We sprinkled the seeds around a perfectly layered structure and drizzled the last bits of the sauce on top to finish. While we were creating a masterpiece, Team Two managed to set their pasta on fire. With only a few minutes to spare, they re-boiled their noodles, mixed in their mushrooms and added spices to taste.
I bit my lip as we placed the dishes before the judges when spokespersons for each team presented the visions behind the plates. “Savoury and fresh”, we told them, “with our dish, you can have the best of both worlds”. The judges dug in their forks and smiled. I could tell they liked ours. But somehow, they liked Team Two’s dish best. It was a tough loss to swallow. But they do say, if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
2. Round two: desserts
The second round fancied the sweet tooth. Ingredients for desserts included white chocolate, rhubarb and graham crackers. Both teams put in their best efforts but only one could win the competition. Team One mastered their presentation, showcasing the perfect ratio of stacked ingredients in twin glasses. Yet again, Team Two impressed the judges with just the right amount of sweetness.
Well, this was quite an edible story. Did you get hungry reading this? I sure did. Cassels, bring on the next food event, and I’m there!