Top Chef Grocery Aisle Challenge and Monopoly

Think of it as Monopoly with a big twist, a big delicious twist. Last weekend we decided to combine Monopoly with a Top Chef Challenge. The stakes were high. The winner was to receive $1000 (in Monopoly money) and the coveted first roll of the dice in the game. Second place got second roll and so on. Six of us were playing. Each was to bring one mystery ingredient and $20 for grocery shopping. We would draw knives. Hidden inside their covers were pieces of paper stating which aisle we would be ours in the grocery store. You'd get 15 minutes in your aisle to buy the rest of your ingredients plus have access to one bonus section of the store. The mission was to create one dish which would be judged in three categories: taste, originality/creativity, and presentation. We started with a 45-minute time limit but ended cooking a little longer when everyone decided to use the stove at the same time which meant a line up for the burners. I brought yellow peppers as my mystery ingredient and ended up with fruit loops (and sesame candy as a bonus). My bonus section was frozen seafood/meat and my regular aisle had baking ingredients, fruit juices, pancake batter and syrups. I discovered that 15 minutes goes by very quickly in the grocery store when you're not really sure what to buy. Fruit loops and seafood....what a combination. I can't even remember the last time I ate fruit loops let alone turned them into something to impress judges. In the end I presented sweet and sour breaded shrimp with a cranberry apple maple sauce. The fruit loops were ground up in the blender with the sesame candy to create crumbs for the breading. Ended up cooking the shrimp and then dipping them first in apple maple syrup and then into the fruit loop/sesame candy crumbs. Diluted the apple maple syrup with water and added dried cranberries to it for the dipping sauce. The outcome....my dish came in fourth scoring high for originality, creativity and presentation but losing marks for the rather sweet taste. I did slightly worse in the Monopoly game that followed. First out which meant I got to wash all the dishes! 

Michele Joller

Michele Joller

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Prudential Estates (RMD) Ltd.
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