I like many others have enjoyed watching cooking contests on TV and I have sometimes wondered how I would do. As it turns out: not to bad. Recently I had the chance to go to a networking event at Cooking Concepts in Plano that is owned and run by Chef Tre Wilcox.
After a bit of socializing we were split into teams and had to create two dishes: one using pork loin and the other using trout (yes, I know it looks like salmon). Our dishes also had to contain all four mystery ingredient: fingerling potatoes, portobello mushrooms, broccolini, and peanut butter. To help complete the dish we were welcome to use anything in the pantry.
Once the timer started we had 30 minutes to create two plates of each dish. I had lofty plans and they worked to a point but when half your team is asking you what to do and the kitchen is small it can get a bit hectic.
In the end we made an Asian inspired peanut-soy sauce with garlic and ginger for our pork loin on a bed of pureed potatoes with stuffed mushroom caps and sauteed broccolini. Our second dish was pan seared trout with lemon zest topped with a peanut-apple vinaigrette with roasted potatoes and mushrooms paired with sauteed broccolini. The team I was on had fun coming up with the proper descriptions for our dishes.
This is something I would love to do again. Having won bragging rights this first time I have a better idea of how to organize my time and I know that I need to work on my plating skills! Chef Wilcox was great to talk to afterwards, even if him walking around taking notes during is a bit intimidating. Have you ever done something similar to this or a cooking class? A better question might be, would you feel comfortable doing something like this? Safe cooking!