Sunday, April 26, 2015

Food Revolution Vegetarian Cooking Challenge

Who:  Dorothy Pang Food Revolution Day Ambassador
What: Vegetarian Cooking Challenge for Food Revolution Day
Where: Nella Cucina on Bathurst Street
When:  Sat. Apr. 24, 2015
Why:  Getting people back in the kitchen to cook real food and raise awareness for Food Education.

Dorothy Pang one of the new Food Revolution Day Ambassadors for Toronto, organized a Vegetarian Culinary Cooking Contest for her first ever Ambassador event.  She organized about 30 young adults into about 5 teams of 4-5 people.   The event was held at Nella Cucina a large Culinary store with a cooking demo space upstairs.

The teams arrived and after registering and getting some information about the event they were treated to some Rawlicious Collard Wraps and Rise Kombucha beverages and coffee from Boxcar Social and cookies from Sweets from the Earth.

After getting their teams organized and having a quick bite for energy they broke into their teams to start formulating their creative plans starting with the basic mandatory bowl of ingredients:  kale, lemon, garlic, beets, and a bottle of Good Food For Good sauce.

They were then allowed to choose ingredients from a pantry of various vegetables, pastas, canned beans and herbs and spices which were generously provided by Sobeys, and a few from Fresh City Farms.

There was a lot of excitement as the teams hustled to get their dishes together.  A lot of high energy buzz in the room.  A lot of people had never met and had to come together as a team to create original dishes from the challenge.

Let's just say they pulled out all the tools that Nella Cucina had in their kitchen.

They had just over an hour or so to complete their dishes before presenting them to the judges who were myself, fellow Ambassador Carol Harrison and Tanya from Nella Cucina and Dorothy's boyfriend as the added judge because he was dying to try everything.

Richa, Dorothy, Carol, Linda
Good Food for Good's creator Richa was on hand to assist the teams in choosing the sauces and providing suggestions and Carol tried to assist in answering questions while I was busy taking these photos.  After they completed their dishes the presented their dishes to the judges one team at a time. They all tried to one up each other and there was a lot of thought to their presentations.
A lot of colorful dishes and unique combinations.


We had a score card for each team and it was almost unanimous that we chose the last team who produced 4 dishes including 2 desserts, one of which was the chocolate covered beets. They also made a beautiful fresh chopped salad and a pasta dish and phyllo wrapped bananas. Their team was called "REVOLICIOUS"  kind of appropriate don't you think.

The winning team won Sobey's gift cards, Aroma Espresso Bar Gift Cards and products from The Detox Market.

Dorothy also raffled off some other prizes including limited edition chopsticks from Chef Susur Lee.

Everyone said they had a great time and they would do it again.  We were all please with the outcome.

We all have to thank Tanya for letting us extend our time and one of the participants Henry who was a champion for sticking around to help us tackling the massive quantity of pots, pans, dishes and utensils.  He helped clean up for about 2 hours.    Maybe next time we should say it has to be a one pot wonder as part of the challenge.

We encouraged everyone to go online and sign the Jamie Oliver petition for Food Education and we took a great group photo at the end of the night.  I am hoping they all spread the word about Food Revolution Day and go to other events in the future.

Great job Dorothy.

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