Imagine creating a 11-course degustation for 18 people in one humble suburban home and kitchen (and six of those courses were desserts!). Now imagine plating up over 90 plates of these desserts! For such a feat, you really do need an army to feed an army. Would 11 passionate food bloggers suffice?
I’ve always stood by the notion that one of the biggest perks from blogging was meeting a slew of like-minded people who love and share what you do. Case in point, with theseothertenstellarandtalentedSydneyfoodbloggers, we love to eat and we love to get together for a bit of kitchen mayhem. Throw in a little madness and a dose of healthy competition and you have one hectic night of food comas, dirty dishes and oil-spitting pyrotechnics.
Welcome to the inaugural Sydney Food Blogger Battle Royale Cook-off! Say that super fast 10 times and I’ll give you a free cookie! This was an idea organised by über cooks, A Table For Two, Linda from Eat, Show and Tell and Almost Bourdain (who also doubled up as a fabulous hostess). Tonight saw us eleven whisk-and-spoon wielding warriors cooking savoury dishes with fruit and desserts with vegetables.
All up, we probably ate two nights worth of food in a couple of hours before passing out and waking up to eat more (Ellie even generously prepared an extra pot of curry, just in case there wasn’t enough food!). But you know what? This is how we roll.
Dish 1: Pumpkin Soup with port melon and vanilla creme fraiche by Minh of Eat, Show and Tell.
The first out of the blocks was my favourite kind of soup. And yes pumpkin is truly a fruit. This was given a delicious kick with rockmelon and vanilla creme fraiche.
Dish 2: Triple Melon Salmon Tartare by Here Comes The Food.
A lot of fruit in this savoury ‘fruit salad’ but was brought together beautifully by the savoury dressing. Genius.
Dish 3: Korean Fried Chicken – twice fried chicken thigh pieces with a pineapple chili sauce by The Heart of Food.
You can never go wrong with anything deep fried. Especially when it comes with a sweet and tangy sauce.
Dish 4: Twice-cooked orange salt rubbed pork belly with toffee-crisp crackling, caramelised cherry and brandy glaze, potato and apple mash with smoked bacon and savoy cabbage with smoky bacon by Almost Bourdain.
No words can describe this without me sounding like a love sick puppy. But oh! That cherry sauce. And that cabbage salad!
Dish 5: “Pig Goes On A Holiday” – marinated pork ribs in lychee and soy served with lychee and green olives by Grab Your Fork.
Gorgeously presented and marinade was fabulous. I loved the refreshing burst of lychees.
Dish 1: Trio of beetroot: Chocolate and beetroot macaron, beetroot chocolate brownie with beetroot ice cream and a beetroot lollipop with fizzy sherbert powder by Raspberri Cupcakes.
You can’t get more psychedelic than hot beetroot pink! The macaron was such a winner.
Dish 2: Rainbow Vegie Layer Cake: beetroot and chocolate, carrot and spinach with cream cheese frosting from the queen of multi-coloured cakes, Chocolatesuze.
I regret not taking any home with me because I loved the denseness of the cakes. Surprisingly I loved the carrot and beetroot layer – two veges I don’t normally touch and contrary to what Suze thinks, the spinach layer was quite tasty.
Dish 3: Tasting Plate of Rhubarb: stewed rhubarb financier, roast rhubarb crumble, lemon shortbread and rhubarb jam and a layered gateau of strawberry gelée, rhubarb mousse and chocolate sponge.
As for my humble contribution, silly silly me probably took too casual of an approach (aka I winged it) and did everything at the last minute. So none really worked out the way I wanted to especially the financier, ugh! This also put my Daring Bakers Challenge on hold so for my fellow DBers, my post is coming, albeit a little late.
Dish 4: Fennel Crème Caramel with fennel mousse & beetroot sorbet by One Bite More.
Fennel was always going to lend itself beautifully in desserts with its mild aniseed flavour, especially when paired with Shez’s orangey syrup.
Dish 5: Eggplant Chocolate Tart with candied carrot, purple carrot ice cream with citrus peels and roasted almond by A Table For Two.
Loved the ice cream (though I thought it was taro at first!) and the chocolate tart was so velvety. The fun was guessing what the ‘vege layer’ was under the tart.
Dish 6: Caramelised onion panacotta with burnt butter ice cream and olive macaron by Linda of Eat, Show and Tell.
Trust me, this is a lot more delicious than it sounds! The panna cotta was so smooth and melted in your mouth. It was almost like an onion dip… but sweeter. Intriguing but delicious and that burnt butter ice cream was to die for.
So who’s cuisine reigned supreme?
Winner of Savoury: Ellie of Almost Bourdain (Dish 4)
Winner of Sweet: Steph of Raspberri Cupcakes (Dish 1)
Most Outrageous: Linda of Eat, Show and Tell (Dessert dish 6)
A big shoutout to all for a fun night and for amazing me to no end with your talent, originality and general awesomeness.
Till the next battle…