We had our second battle with Adam and McKenzie. The first one was between Lisa and McKenzie as chefs and me (Jim) and Adam as judges; Adam doubled as the emcee. That first battle was Battle Coconut and McKenzie won. This second one is a diabolical featured ingredient! I mean how do you highlight sesame seeds? I’ve cooked with them and used them as an ingredient but not the featured ingredient! It was me against Adam and Adam really seemed to be comfortable with sesame seeds. He’s used them for a lot of things so he wasn’t intimidated at all. I, on the other hand had no idea what I was going to do!
A little background on Adam and Mckenzie, they both recently completed their yoga instructor certification and you can attend their classes when they sub at Namaspa. McKenzie is also a jewelry artist; you can see her work here.
Who participated in Battle Sesame Seed?
This was our first battle in someone else’s kitchen so, for me, this was a new challenge. In the end, I actually felt it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I just had to get used to the space. So no excuses for me!
When I first met Adam and during our last battle, Adam seemed really nice and considerate. I found out this night that Adam is a pretty competitive guy! He didn’t give me any slack during the battle and pretty much gave me crap at every turn! For instance, when I said I was using sesame oil in my dish he hinted that it was a cop out. Yikes! It was super fun but I wasn’t quite ready for it. I think his plan was to knock me off my game to gain any advantage he could get! I also think it worked!
Our unofficial emcee and the one that really oversaw everything we did, making sure we stayed on track, was Hotwire the greyhound! She was great at keeping us going and giving us some great inspiration. She also has this way of looking at you from across the room that is both super cute and a little unnerving. You are never sure if she is looking at you like you are a complete fool or if she thinks you’re cool. Either way she was there to keep us all in line!
McKenzie and Lisa were the judges and McKenzie was the emcee, running FoodFu on an iPhone 6. She made things fun by using the suggested questions on FoodFu to guide the battle but also included her own personal touches. This made it really fun since she knew some things about Adam that we didn’t and caught him off guard!
What did the chefs make to highlight sesame seeds?
Adam had experience using sesame seeds, he’s made tahini and hummus and other things but I’d never used them before. Adam had his secret dish planned out as a deconstructed hummus and kale salad with flat bread croutons (floutons as we called them after that!). It was a beautiful dish in the bowl and didn’t disappoint in taste! The floutons were awesome and it all went very nicely together. When I saw his dish I knew I was in trouble! His homemade tahini dressing really highlighted sesame seeds and, when combined with the kale salad, really made his dish delicious.
I (Jim) made roasted blue potatoes with a salsa made with tomatoes, ground roasted sesame seeds, chervil and jalapenos. I also made a small salad with spinach, arugula and a light sesame oil and mustard dressing. Lastly, I made some pan roasted Ling Cod in sesame oil and topped it with salt, pepper and roasted sesame seeds.
Watch battle sesame seeds unfold:
The plates for FoodFu Battle Sesame Seeds:
Judging this battle was tough and I am glad I didn’t have to do it. I am sure I would have had to vote against my dish. Adam’s was just really good!
This battle ended up as a tie.
Lisa and McKenzie really liked Adams salad, especially the crispy floutons. They raved about his tahini and how it all worked together to create a cohesive flavor and really highlighted sesame seeds. Adam’s plating was also really nice (I’m starting to see that Adam is very good at plating as you’ll see with some future blog posts of our ongoing FoodFu battles with Adam and McKenzie)
The judges also really liked my dish. They said each of the things I made tasted good by themselves but really were best when combined together. They wished that I had simplified my dish down to a bed of the spinach and arugula salad with the Ling Cod on topped and then some of the salsa to pull it all together. So again I have over complicated my dish and made too much! The judges really loved my flavor but my plating didn’t score as high as Adam’s.
So we had a tie which only makes me and Adam want to have a tie-breaker battle sometime soon! We already talked about what we’d do next!
What better way to spend time with friends than hanging out listening to good music, eating appetizers, cooking together and just enjoying time together? I know I am one of the creators of FoodFu but I feel like almost anyone would like a night like that! Tell us what you think!