Thursday, September 30, 2010

7th Annual Hot Pepper Eating Contest!!

The 7th Annual Hot Pepper Eating Contest was held on October 3rd at The Cookery. Every year this event draws more people – spectators and participants alike.

The afternoon begins with a Chili Cook-Off. Chilli of all kinds are submitted and judged anonymously for the Hottest and Best Overall Flavor. Chilli has run the gamut over the years – from beef, chicken, and bean – to moose, bear, venison and reptile.

After “warming up” with the chilli and mass quantities of beer, the pepper contenders don their custom t-shirts and sit at a long table reminiscent of the “last supper.” Participants can consume as much white bread as they want….and drink as much beer or wine as they want to try to diffuse the heat; but they must eat the entire pepper (excluding the stem) in the time allotted.

The first round begins with at the lowest end of the Scoville Heat Scale and builds up to one of the highest – the Habañero. This year, nine different kinds of hot peppers were included (including some pilfered from Dominica!). As the tears flow and tongues burn, participants who can’t stand the heat bow out to signify their lack of tolerance and get a baby bottle with milk…oh….the relief of the burn with milk!
Watching the contest is definitely entertainment – facial expressions, moans, cries, and belly-clutching are only amplified by the continuous flow of alcohol (which only heightens the pain!).
The winner of the contest receives the coveted “Pepper Trophy” and $100. They also get to name the Hot Pepper Sauce (complete with photo) that ATTC makes from the remaining pepper bounty.

This is a highly competitive event with several repeat performers that have blown everyone away with their ability to withstand the fire.

This year, we are pleased to announce the first female winner – Raechel Brown – a member of our event culinary team. Throughout the year, she will proudly display her Pepper Trophy and gear up to defend her title next year!

Brides Against Breast Cancer

Don't know what to do with your wedding dress after the big day? If you don't have grand plans for it, give it another chance to walk down the aisle and donate it to Brides Against Breast Cancer.

Your dress will be refurbished and sold at one of their "Nationwide Tour of Gowns" sales held across the country. All donation proceeds go to The Making Memories Foundation that grants final wishes to men and women suffering from terminal breast cancer.

It is estimated that this year alone over 200,000 women and nearly 1,200 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly, breast cancer will take the lives of almost 40,000 people this year in the United States and over 300,000 worldwide. In the United States one person will be diagnosed with breast cancer every 2½ minutes, and one person will die of breast cancer every 12 minutes. Many know that this disease is the second highest killer of women in the United States, but a little known fact is that breast cancer is the number one killer of women between the ages of 15 and 54. - message from Making Memories

For more info, go to Brides Against Breast Cancer

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chili & Peppers – Peppers & Chili

The 7th annual Hot Pepper Eating Contest is here!

This Sunday, October 3rd, A Thyme to Cook hosts the annual Hot Pepper Eating Contest. Kicking it off is the the Chili Contest! Each year we have grand flavors of various chili recipes to taste and vote on for "Hottest" and "Best Overall." Bill, Julie, Brian and Dan have won the chili contest and this year I am once again attempting to get the prize.

I have already started my chili with a bunch of fresh garden love. Each day or two I add in more and more tomatoes and peppers from my garden. It’s a lot of fun and it introduces the Hot Pepper Eating Contest……

Let the games begin... We’ve had as many as 15 participate in selecting and eating hot peppers from mild to down right fire blazing until the contest is over and the last one standing is not sucking on a baby bottle of milk.

Our A Thyme to Cook Gang looks forward to seeing everyone again!
Lori Post, Client Relations

Working for a caterer is like nothing else. It’s fast paced, exciting and can be a little crazy, especially during wedding season!

As the office manager, I don’t plan or attend the events, but I still have contact with the clients if they have questions and I’m right in the hub of the action! How cool is that??? (Pretty cool!) But occasionally, I’d like to actually attend a wedding and see how it all comes together. Trust me, I’ve probably been to over 50 weddings in my time, but because I’m getting to be of a “certain age”, pretty much all my friends have passed the marriage stage and are on to children, so my wedding prospects have just about dried up.

Finally, finally, someone decided to get hitched and my husband and I were invited! I couldn’t wait to see how the bride’s vision came to life! What were her colors? How many attendants? Favors or no favors? DJ or Band? Sooo many choices!! (Can you tell I like weddings??)

It was a tented affair, held at the home of the groom’s grandparents, with views of his grandmother’s beautiful flower gardens. The couple walked barefoot down an aisle of sand and released butterflies after they said their vows. The color scheme of purple, orange and white was reflected in the linen, paper lanterns and the flowers and everyone looked gorgeous! Good food, good spirits and good friends (with some dancing thrown in) all make for a great evening!

Sadly, there are no more on the horizon, but I guess this was enough to satisfy my wedding craving for now. I’ll just have to wait for our own Emily to get married next summer. Only 295 days left!!! (….not that I’m counting!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Emily's Bridal Blog

Next July, our own Emily will be getting married. Needless to say, the office is a-buzz with ideas for her and her fiance, Brian. Over the next year, we thought it would be fun to follow her planning and experiences from her bridal point-of-view. Here is the first installment of Emily's bridal blog....

Weddings, weddings, and more weddings! Working for A Thyme to Cook for the past nine years (both in the office and at events) has allowed me to see tons of weddings! It seems as if they are second nature to me! However, there is one wedding next July that will be unlike any other… because this time, I’ll be the bride!
Over the course of the next year, my fiancée and I get to make exciting decisions like picking out colors, rings, food, dresses, music, flowers…the list goes on! We thought we would share details of the planning process as our thoughts and ideas emerge.
One of our first decisions on our long list was choosing a photographer (of course, that was after I had an exhaustive search for a caterer….just kidding) We decided on Tim Brown, owner of TAB Photographic– a very enthusiastic photographer. We just had our engagement shoot this past month because we couldn’t wait to work with him! Although it felt awkward at first (trying to have an intimate moment while someone is watching you!), he made us feel extremely comfortable. In fact, at the end, I really didn’t mind the celebrity status! Here are some highlights from our shoot…

contact TAB Photographic

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

From our Chef.....

Having recently returned from the CaterArts symposium in Louisville, Kentucky, I have had some time to reflect on my experiences there. I was most amazed at how fellow culinarians can truly pull together. There was a very diverse group of chefs at the conference from all areas of catering from many different places in the United States and abroad. The one thing that stands out from my experience was how my fellow chefs “step up to the plate” and help one another. Helping to prep or plate one another’s food or being thrown together with a "mystery basket" and preparing multiple items in an hour. The creativity and teamwork shown was an example to chefs everywhere.

With interesting new ideas all around me, I enjoyed lots of great food and experiences to keep my passion for food fueled. I enjoyed touring a sustainable farm that not only produces vegetables, but beef as well. My waistline is still trying to return to normal! Cocktail parties, gala dinners, regional cuisine, decadent desserts...Wow. Think sour cream ice cream, crispy fried shrimp Diablo, pork belly corn dogs, a coconut tropical fruit verine, empanadas, croquettes ahhh the list goes on and on.

But alas as much as I like to travel and experience what the culinary world has to offer it’s good to be back where I am truly happiest. In the kitchen.