It’s not every day that you get to compete in a cooking competition. And it’s certainly not every day that it is an Iron Chef Style Competition where your secret ingredients are your CSA Share and you get to compete in the very first one, ever! The Kitchen Table/Project Harmony CSA teamed up with the Hunter College Nutrition Club and put on a great show in the last week of September, sponsored by Just Food. Shani,the Nutrition Club’s President, MCed and kept time while providing the judges updates on the progress of the competing teams, each of which consisted of a CSA Member and a Nutrition Club Member. It was an exciting and delicious competition among Team Masala Salads, Team Pomegranate, and Team Apples Caliente in the Hunter College Food Lab in the Silberman Building on E 119th St and 3rd Ave.
Tasked with creating a meal from a few community ingredients (basil, onions, garlic, butter, olive oil, vinegar, lemons, and, eggs), their own CSA Shares (swiss chard, red peppers, potatoes, arugula, carrots, and apples) in just 30 minutes (with 20 minutes of cleaning/prep time), each team pulled off beautiful and tasty dishes with a unique approach to using every ingredient in the Share.
Though the scoring was incredibly close, the Apples Caliente Team (me & Karen), clinched a win with our Kitchen Sink Fritatta, Crispy Potato disks, arugula and basil chimichurri, accompanied by a seasonal baked apple dessert. Not only did we win the first ever East Harlem CSA Smackdown title, a place in the City-wide Final Competition, we also got to take home set of TFal pots/pans (that we decided to split among all of the competitors), donated by Just Food.
3rd Place–Team Pom’s Apple & Arugula Salad and Silk Road Spiced Omelet
1st Place–Team Apples Caliente’s Kitchen Sink Fritatta, Crispy Potatoes, Chimichurri, and Baked Apple Dessert
If you live on the East or the West Side of Harlem you can join our CSA for the winter share (November through December) or set your calendar for next Summer’s share so you too can compete in the next Great CSA Smackdown.