Darlings, LET'S NOT BEAT AROUND THE BUSH! The winner of the Culinary Thowdown PICNIC BASKET is:
LA DIVA !!!!!!
Haha! Just kidding. Thought I'd bring a little smile to your face by "Pulling a Troll."
Well, in spite of bad weather, frantic schedules, torn apart kitchens and all around "life-just-got-in-the-way," we had a great turn out for this comp! It was cool to see so many men participate (even though you weren't allowed to grill on the spot!) And why wouldn't a PICNIC BASKET appeal to men? After all, it seems like men really DO love the kind of food that is perfect for a picnic: Sandwiches, steak salad, chicken fingers, deviled eggs and onion wraps.
Here's a wrap up of all the entries:
Doggybloggy: Even though he'd been without hot water and a kitchen for weeks, Doggybloggy of Chezwhat? came back strong with TWO entries! A comforting spinach and potato fritatta, brilliant in its simplicity and practicality AND a lovely little self-contained snack of potato gratin and gruyere cheese encased in prosciutto and puffed pastry.
Heff: Made all by his lonesome self, Heff, of Heff's Bar and Grill, took many of us on a trip down memory lane with his entry of simple sammies made with Underwood Deviled Ham. La Diva loved Heff's preference for REAL MAN's mayonnaise (no sissy reduced fat mayo here!) and the creative use of condiments. Also, extra points for using a real pic-a-nic basket. And Booze. Booze ALWAYS GET EXTRA POINTS.
Buzzkill: Buzzkill, of Buzz Kill's Buzzkill, is the family man with a very busy schedule and a very picky family! In spite of weather and work, Buzzkill was determined to participate and wisely chose his own beautiful backyard deck and some parboiled chicken to ease his way into the competition. Buzzkill's classic entry was old-fashioned potato salad with a twist (including tomatoes and cucumbers) cole slaw and mesquite barbecued chicken. Tasty and delicious and best of all, so close to the kitchen for clean up! Dee-light-ful. Extra points for effort, especially since he lost time by having to clean the kitchen first!
Moi: Ahh Moi, always sooo classy and always sooo decadent with your food posts. In spite of her looming deadline and 24-7 work schedule, Moi, of Bite the Apple, posted an entry that no picnic should be without: fruit salad! However, Moi took it to another level by adding home made meringue cookies and a yummy and rich lemon curd. Simple yet so delicious. Extra points for the beautiful outdoors setting! (and of course for BOOZE!)
Buffalodick: A new contender to La Diva Cucina but not to Heff's Bar and Grill, Buffalodick, of Opinions and Rectums, We all Got One!, took La Diva right back to her childhood outings at my grandpa's cottage in Michigan. He offered a complete meal with starter, main course, sides and dessert including: deviled eggs, onion wraps, potato salad, fresh strawberries with powdered sugar, shrimp salad sandwiches on croissants and peanut butter Rice Krispie squares frosted with semi sweet chocolate. Wow! La Diva liked how he relied on classic, "old school" picnic fare and extra points for making a full spread and also for the photos on the pic-a-nic blanket!
SandCastle Momma: Well, in spite of bigger worries for Sandcastle Momma of epic proportions, our lovely blogging buddy from the panhandle of Florida picnicked at her beloved beach EACH AND EVERY DAY for two weeks, knowing it would soon come to an end. Instead of making her usual fried fish sammies, SC Momma diverted from her old standby to try something new and challenging, a mango gazpacho. SC Momma not only gets extra points for her efforts but also for her determination and eating at the beach every day! (no easy feat, if you ask La Diva!)
Eggy: Mizz Eggy, as La Diva fondly calls her, of Eggplant to Go, went the whole hog for this competition and is one tough contender. Despite bad weather and sick picnic buddies, Eggy came through strong with not just one dish, not two but NINE DISHES!!! Eggy's entry included everything a picnic should: something pickled, something salad, something cool and refreshing, fruit, pie and of course BOOZE!!! Extra points for the stuffed-in-more-ways-than-one teddy bear and beaut setting.
BamaTrav: Here's a guy that likes to cook and likes his food spicy! Another entry of simple sammies, BamaTrav kicked up the good ol' fashioned tuna sandwich a notch or two by adding mustard, jalapenos and dill havarti on some yummy cheesy bread! Extra points for the pic-a-nic basket, the promise of a bit of "slap and tickle" to some lucky lady and naturally for including BOOZE in his entry!
And the winner is......
EGGPLANT TO GO!!!!
Well, darlings, you can hardly be surprised. Although we DO judge each contest on it's own, I have to say, Eggplant to Go made a monumental effort for the lobster throwdown only to be thwarted by disaster as her main dish dropped all over the floor! Eggplant is a great, creative cook and does NOTHING by halves. And is lucky to not only get a little help from her friends but has friends that love to cook and enjoy the food too!
Here's a closer look at her pic-a-nic goodies!
Eggy's savory egg n pancetta n figs n cheese loaf!
Marinated sausage and gruyere salad with rye bread croutons!
Georgia tomatoes, garlic ramps, blue cheese, asparagus and flank steak make up this colorful and certainly flavorful meaty salad.
CONGRATS TO EGGPLANT and a huge thank you to all the participants who entered! For those that didn't make it to this challenge, we hope to see you for Eggy's challenge? What WILL SHE PICK?
Ciao for now, darlings!cooking class, cocktails, parties, cocktail party, Miami, coral gables, events, bartending class, cocktail class, Laura Lafata, Miami Beach, miami cooking classes, bachelorette parties, bachelorette party, personal chef, corporate events, catering, personal chef, party entertainment, www.ladivacucina.com, top chef