(cross posted from RaisingMaine.com where I actually get paid to blog :)
I smiled with a bit of homesickness when I opened the food section of the paper this morning. Before my best friends got to be over thirty and we all scattered to the four winds, we were young lushes in DC. We spent many a drunken night in epicurian exploration, which led to the first of 3 iron chef competitions between myself and our best man, JB. What started as a simple wager (who could cook a better meal) soon became an obsessive, time and $$$ intensive competition -- 5-8 courses, with wine and cocktail pairings and experimentation to the highest end. We would prepare for day (s) in advance, and be exhausted at the completion. Our spouses relished in defining the secret ingredients (including the likes of caramel, lychees, Bourbon, and ginger); JB and I found intense competitive joy in continuously one-upping each other; and our friends invited as judges were lucky to be spoiled to the nines.
Apparently friendly iron chef competitions are becoming more popular amongst friends. It's really a good time (just don't let it consume you :); I highly recommend buying a few secret ingredients and inviting over some friends.
For the full article (and a few helpful hints), check out: http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=170446&ac=Food