July 12, 2011 § 2 Comments
Seattle is one of those cities where the food industry is a top attraction, but perhaps more importantly, seasonal and local ingredients are really celebrated on restaurant menus and are a popular topic of discussion. I see so many Seattle-ites covet the local berry season. So what better ingredient for my big Summer party I was planning!
I hosted said party last weekend…a cook-off where each person or couple had to bring a dish to be voted on. The kicker…everyone had to incorporate a secret ingredient to be revealed a few days before the big event. With berry season in its peak here in Seattle, I chose strawberries!
When I sent the evite out to a several different group of friends, I was overwhelmed with the response…I had about 25 reply yes! (sidenote…when I lived in California, I remember talking with my friend Sara about how we wanted to get a party bus to go out in San Francisco…but we didn’t know enough people to fill one…and we had been living there over a year!) I rented my building’s party room and it was so much fun to have different groups of friends all gather in one place (and hopefully they made a few new friends!)
I was really excited to see (and taste!) what everyone would come up with and was hoping we would have a good mix of sweet and savory…although I wouldn’t have been too bummed if we wound up with 12 desserts!
My contribution was Strawberry Chevre Crostini and Mickey made pulled lamb sliders (that he cooked for 5 hours!) tossed in a strawberry pepper glaze and topped with strawberry-onion jam. (My photos are a bit blurry as I was rushing around and forgot to change the settings on my camera…visit Emily’s post for MUCH better food photos!)
Other contributions included strawberry thyme lemonade, strawberry gazpacho, strawberry pesto pasta salad, chicken with strawberry pepper sauce, chicken strawberry walnut balls, chicken tacos with strawberry salsa, strawberry avocado salsa with homemade tortilla chips, strawberry guacamole, strawberry doughnuts with lemon glaze, strawberry daiquiri pie…ok I think you get the point! There were over 15 dishes to try and all were fantastic!
I had a really hard time voting! The winners were:
Best Presentation – Strawberry Gazpacho
Best Tasting – Chicken Tacos with Strawberry Salsa
Most Interesting – Chicken Strawberry Walnut Balls
I had so much fun that I am hoping to make it a quarterly event.What will the secret ingredient be for Fall…oh the possibilities!!!