Saturday, September 17, 2011

BugFest 2011 Cook Off

The judges


                                   Me and my Sous Chef Dominick plating the Scorpion toast

Caterpillar roll

Yesterday I had the pleasure to participate in the BugFest Cook Off at the Museum Of Natural Science In Raleigh North Carolina. I have never cooked with insects before so I wasn't sure how to go about it. Many cultures eat insects and some of the dishes I prepared, I borrowed from these cuisines. As I came up with some ideas for what to make, I tried to and make things that I was familiar with and make them without the bugs first. I decided to make foods that were at first glance recognizable and most people would have probably tried before. We were told we needed to come up with an appetizer, entree and dessert and that we would have a mystery ingredient (scorpions) to incorporate in one of our dishes. My dishes were Spicy Scorpion toast on a bed of baby bok choy, Chripotle taco with onions, red bell peppers, napolitos (prickly pear cactus) and crickets. and for dessert Crittercannoli with sweet potato ricotta and mascarpone cheeses with sorghum molasses. My fellow participant was Michael Lee, Executive Chef of Sono Sushi. Michael won the cook off with a score of 167 and my score was 160. I was impressed with how creative he was with his dishes. His entree was a maki roll that looked like a Caterpillar and incorporate silk worms and meal worms. I had a great time at this event and pushed myself to go outside the box and try something new and I made a new acquaintance and hopefully a new friend.