This weekend had a taste of its own and was fun, fun, fun! It was the weekend of Project X qualifiers round. We didn’t know what to expect, but we were so excited anyway!
The rounds were held through 2 days, 6 teams on Friday, and another 6 teams on Saturday, 3 teams from each day qualified to next week’s finale! And yes, we were one of them!! I almost couldn’t believe it, but I guess this is what they call beginner’s luck!
Throughout this post, you will notice I ‘borrowed’ some pictures from Froyo Nation, since she was my team-mate, and she got to take a bunch of pictures while I was too busy doing the cooking some other pictures I took myself while I could, and the best, really artistic pictures, were taken by Q8Stig, who was kind enough to send them over. Thanks Stiggy!
Now let’s start with what went down..
We got there, to what looked like a beehive! Everybody was busy, running around, doing something, taking pictures, asking questions, organizing, getting ready! And we started taking a look at the pantry, just being in that place with access to all those ingredients, and killer equipment, makes you wanna cook and experiment all day long..ANYTHING you would think of, they have! Chef Boutique is the place to be if you’re looking to learn some new cooking techniques, or a new dish or two.
The judges arrived, and took their places. They were kinda intimidating at first, but turned out to be real sweethearts, with a great experience to share.
The teams took their places, waiting anxiously for the starting bell to ring..
We got the first counter..Team # 1
The ‘mystery ingredient’ of round one was placed onto the counters..I guess I was too shocked to take a picture of it after I unveiled it..It was MANGO!
The recipe I had in mind originally was Chicken with Blue Cheese sauce..So I thought I’d add the mango as a side salad, then while making the sauce, we decided to go crazy and mix some mango puree with the blue cheese! I really liked the taste of it afterwards!
Time was running up and we started preparing our ‘dish presentation’ for the judges
After we were done, the plates were placed in the food warmer waiting to be presented and tasted by the judging panel
Et voila, our final product
And a close up of my ‘under-cooked’ chicken, as stated by the judges later
The judges taking their first bites..
And scoring us for round 1..
After a break between rounds, we got back to our counters, waiting for the bell to announce the beginning of round two with another mystery ingredient, this time it was ‘Blue Cheese’!
By that time, our team have decided to make fish. So we went ahead and stuck to our decision, while figuring out what to do with the blue cheese. The judges wanted something crazy, so what’s better than Banana Leaf Steamed Fish and a crazy sauce! I was too crazy we had to name it, we called it, ‘Red Fusion’ sauce
And the making of dish 2 began..
The fish is being wrapped into the banana leaf..
And on the steamer!
We started making the sauce while giving the fish its time to cook..During this time, the teams were introduced to ‘The Joker’, another mystery ingredient that we had to incorporate into our recipe..It was honey! Wanna take a guess where it went?! Yup, into the sauce as well
Then everything went on the stove for sometime
The time was approaching to an end, and we started the countdown..This is how the fish looked when we first opened the steamer
I placed it in the dish, and started preparing our ‘dish presentation’ for the judging panel
Tadaaaaa..Our 2nd dish of the qualifiers’ round
I was really nervous as the judges were digging in! Didn’t wanna end up with another under-cooked dish..I’m not sure how they felt about it though..All we got was ‘no comment’..And I guess I’d take it positively
Here are some dishes that I could snap pictures of, and were presented by other teams through round 1 and 2 of the qualifiers’ rounds..Everything looked super yum!
We were sent to another room for the judges to make the final calls..It took them about 30 minutes before we were called in and lined-up to hear verdict!
Luckily, we qualified! Along with Team ‘Triple Sisters’, and Team ‘Moody & The 3rd Sister’! We will be cooking again next week along with the 3 other winning teams from day 2. Can HARDLY wait!
A huge, enormous, over-sized thank you to everybody who worked on this project and made it as fun and successful as it is! we enjoyed every bit and can’t wait for the finale! Thank you to the organizers, the judges, and the sponsors, and all the other teams who are being the cutest ever super chefs