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Leek Battle revisited - A little less than a happy high
komos
komos
Leek Battle revisited
Here are my shots of the plated dishes presented in this weekend's event. Our chefs performed magnificently, each bringing their own unique approach to the theme, and in some cases, surprising me even after they had sent detailed descriptions of their plans. I think perhaps the highest compliment I can give to you all is that over the course of the day, I learned to think about leeks in a whole new light, and I doubt that my admittedly very classic approach to this humble vegetable will ever be the same.


Eric's (clockwise from top) leek and goat cheese brulee; leek and potato salad; and grilled leek with asiago cheese, balsamic vinegar, and sage jelly.


Tricia's sweet potatoes roasted in leek butter; carmelized leeks with pancetta; and (what I remember as) a sweet potato tart with leek-flavored crême fraiche.


Mike's plate of sausage, pepper, and leek pizza; carmelized leek and goat cheese pizza; and salad of greens accented with grilled leeks. Mike was also good enough to play "stump the judges" by serving up the delicious Olde English malt liquor in fancy tulip glasses. The word was that the beer tasted "a little Belgic."


Han's leeks with bay scallops in a sherry cream sauce en croûte atop a scallop shell. Han was the first to give us saffron, which was decided to be quite luxurious.


Chef Zero's carmelized leeks served with spicy goat cheese and roasted cashews atop a grilled pita crisp and leeks breaded and lightly fried in peanut oil.


Meg's (clockwise from left) leek, apple and fennel tart with; whipped cream prepared with leeks and saffron; poached leeks atop apple and fennel served with a hunk of Great Hill Blue and a candied walnut; and leek and white chocolate truffle.


Meg was our ultimate winner, her unexpected and quite delicious truffle delivering the coup de grâce. I salute you all for once again raising the bar.
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Comments
_meej_ From: _meej_ Date: January 19th, 2006 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
My compliments to all the chefs, and my thanks for the food porn.
komos From: komos Date: January 19th, 2006 02:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad to share. 'Course, it's all just enticement to get more people involved. ^_^
_meej_ From: _meej_ Date: January 19th, 2006 12:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, if I hadn't been away this past weekend...
komos From: komos Date: January 19th, 2006 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
We'll get you folks in the mix sooner or later... it's just a matter of time.
_meej_ From: _meej_ Date: January 19th, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yup, that it is.
woodwhat From: woodwhat Date: January 19th, 2006 06:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow! That all looks so delicious. Leeks: Who Knew?
komos From: komos Date: January 19th, 2006 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm very fond of them, and they tend to find their way into things I'm working on pretty regularly. Still, folks really pushed the envelope on Saturday and it was all pretty amazing.
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komos From: komos Date: January 19th, 2006 03:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sadly, because I ceded the chair to our special celebrity guest, I didn't actually get to taste everything that got plated.

I still ate too much, and it was gooood.
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komos From: komos Date: January 19th, 2006 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, my utilitarian workaday cuisine has pretty much paled in comparison.
sassyinkpen From: sassyinkpen Date: January 19th, 2006 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just...WOW
komos From: komos Date: January 19th, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
But again, there was NO SNOGGING...
sassyinkpen From: sassyinkpen Date: January 19th, 2006 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dude, you just made me snarf tea on my keyboard!
komos From: komos Date: January 19th, 2006 06:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Snogging is good for that.
laughingwoman From: laughingwoman Date: January 19th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
looks, sounds, tastes (at least hypothetically, to me) amazing. the pizza looks like something i might try next week.

i'm surpised no one did crispy leeks of any kind, though. is there a category of judging that includes textural concerns?

komos From: komos Date: January 19th, 2006 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Crispy? As in nigh on raw?

The scale is relatively simple. A dish is given a possible 20 points from each judge, based on 5 points in each of Taste, Creativity, Presentation, and Use of Theme Ingredient. There's nothing specific to texture, though that could very easily affect either taste or presentation.

I was thinking of maki rolls made with leek greens in place of the nori and another treatment as an accompaniment to whatever got rolled. Sadly, I ran out of time.
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