Restaurant food is pretty. Home-cooked food, not so much. Oh yes, we try. We, of the conscientious, borderline obsessive home cooking set, have every intention of making a meal beautiful on both the inside and out. But unless you have plating and presentation skills of the likes of Matt Armendiraz, it ain’t nothin’ compared to the pros. And let’s face it: after any length of effort in the kitchen, we just want to eat as soon as possible that which reaps the tastiest reward.
So just this once, let’s embrace this rare shred of good common sense. This blogging contest exalts in the natural ugliness of often incredible food. I know you’ve all got a favorite dish that looks like the dog’s dinner. Entries are due by November 15; rules and more details follow below. Draw your dull knives, home chefs. The ugly cred’ war is on.
Thanks to Deborah and Lilster for inspiring this contest with their comments on my recent Baba Ghanoush post. Deborah declared the eggplant dip “the ugliest delicious food.” (I might add that I took extra care to shoot this one in the perfect natural light, with a complementary chartreuse green background; even still, baba ghanoush is one f’ugly dish.) Then, Lilster left a comment sharing a story about a lentil soup so hideous it scared off a vegetarian. But after a taste, it charmed the pants off her. See, flavor wins.
In this one-off event, however, both flavor and ugliness will determine a winner.
The Ugliest Gourmet
Contest is open to anyone with a blog (it doesn’t need to be a food blog).
1. Complete a post on your blog by Midnight EST, November 15, 2007 that includes a recipe for your most unsightly yet delicious dish, at least one photograph of the finished product, plated, and a link to this contest at this blog. Recipes can be original, “family,” something passed on from a friend, or even something you tweaked from a published recipe. As long as it’s completely ugly and awesome-tasting.
2. Email me (cathy[at]noteatingoutinny[dot]com) by the same deadline and provide your name, blog’s name, name of your dish, link to the post with your dish, and a low-res (around 320 x 240) image of the dish.
Shortly after November 15th, I will post a round-up of everyone who entered the contest’s dishes. However, only one proud winner will take the title of The Ugliest Gourmet. The winner will be decided by votes from readers who comment on the round-up post within the next four days. Votes should take into consideration a 50/50 split between how ugly the dish looks, and how delicious its recipe sounds. (More details on how to verbalize your vote/comment will be described in the round-up post.) On Midnight, EST November 19, voting will be closed, and the winner will soon be announced.
As the grand prize, I will cook The Ugliest Gourmet dish at my Thanksgiving dinner. From your family to mine! I admit that it’s no cash prize, but I’ll try to capture the action on this blog soon afterward, and make sure that everyone in my family is properly disgusted. (Disclaimer: An exception may be made for a dish with ingredients that I cannot possibly find or afford.)
Whew! It’s about to get ugly in here.