October 1, 2012

Smackdown Recap

Grand Street CSA's Saturday Afternoon Smackdown at the Hester Street Fair

A fun, action-packed and delicious afternoon featuring our beautiful Provider Farm veggies!

Competitors: 
The Emo Eggplants' (Dan Tainow & Caroline Maggi)
VS.
Ray Riga (the famous original)
 
Smackdown officials: 
Deborah Noch & Shien Chiou

Judges: 
Aaron Stoquert, co-owner and chef of Cowboy Pizza
John McGrath, father of Hester St. Fair's own Rachel Mae Farms CSA
Nivia Mendez and Derek Baldwin of Our Lady of Sorrows Food Pantry

Special Guest:
Just Food's CSA in NYC Program Manager Paula Lukats



20 minutes to prep ...
The cooking begins - 30 minutes to go!
The Emos fry delicata rings dredged in cornmeal & egg
Ray cooks red cabbage, apples, cauliflower & onion in butter & oil.
  Our competitors both used 9 CSA ingredients each, including delicata squash, kale, onion, red cabbage, hot peppers (poblano, jalepeno, cayenne), onion, cauliflower, apple & pear (from Breezy Hill).
Finished with time on the clock
Down to the wire
   Dan and Caroline presented Delicata Doughnut with Fall Slaw inspired by a dish from Back Forty - fried delicata, red onion & poblano pepper strips over a fall salad of kale, red cabbage, apples, pears & cauliflower dressed with apple cider vinegar and olive oil.

   Ray's fall trio included a massaged kale salad in lemon dressing, an Alsatian inspired choux rouge aux pommes (red cabbage with apples) with the addition of cauliflower, and pan seared delicata with pears that just made it onto the plate as time was called.

Our judges taste and score the two dishes.

Spectators and volunteers taste and give their own 2 cents.
Judges scored each dish on taste, presentation & creativity. While Deb tallied the scores, the judges complimented both dishes, especially Ray's red cabbage, apple & cauliflower sauteed in butter and the Emo Eggplant's fried delicata squash ring. Ray's last minute delicata could have used a little more time in the pan.

Judgement time
 And the winning dish was ... Delicata Doughnut with Fall Slaw!!


Congratulations to the Emo Eggplants, who took home a set of T-Fal pots courtesy of Just Food and a ticket to the Smackdown finals next month!

Many thanks to our farmers, competitors, judges, and volunteers, as well as our friends at Just Food, the Hester Street Fair and Seward Park Housing for making the Smackdown possible!