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Sears’ Chef Challenge
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Sears’ Chef Challenge

Last week, I was invited to participate in the Sears Chef Challenge. The idea is that I would be winning a bunch of money for charity and a kitchen renovation. The apartment needs a good kitchen reno, but I’d probably have my dad’s kitchen redone instead. It’s a more permanent option and they really need it up there in Maine. I’d rather take the money and renovate a charity’s kitchen, but I don’t think that’s how the game works.

My wild duck (liver) chase to find the ingredients for my dish consisted solely of stores on 33rd street. Artisanal Fromagerie for the foie gras, Café M for the Brioche, and some Korean store for the tuna and sesame seeds. I called it “The Dodecadence.” Sesame encrusted seared ahi on a brioche bun is a perfect ten for sure. The foie gras brings it up to eleven … add truffled shallots to kick it up another notch to twelve. Dodecadent. Here’s a picture of the finished item:

None of these pictures are mine. The light was perfect and they still came out blurry; the guy was taking stills with a handheld video camera. I brought my camera and got a couple shots in, but forgot to hand the camera off to Emily as I went up to bat. Check out the mullet:

I didn’t know my hair was so bad until I saw this picture. I told the guy at the barbershop that I was growing it out, and so that’s what he left in back. Thanks.

Here’s the promo movie for the New York “at home” contestants:

It was a lot of fun getting in front of a professional camera in a studio kitchen. I was relaxed and enjoyed getting up there and goofing off, but I didn’t really have a thrust behind what I was talking about. That led me to pause and say a bunch of disjointed shit, like insinuating that the price point of foie gras puts it out of reach for most Americans. WTF is that bullshit? Here’s my tape:

And this was the one where I said “uh” ten fewer times. When they said the video was going to be professionally edited, I just went up there and spitballed. I figured they’d cut it ro remove my pauses and my “uhs,” but it just meant that they were cutting two camera shots together. One take, that’s all they used. I sound like a douche.

Regardless of the outcome, the event was fun and the sandwich came out nicely. I met a couple new people in the food scene here in NYC and got to eat some awesome stuff. The video isn’t something I’m particularly proud of, but what are you gonna do? It was a good time and I thank Beatriz at Cake for inviting me to join the party!

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