Salon Kitchen Challenge: A political feast

It's time to talk politics at the table. Plus: Last week's Thanksgiving leftovers winners

Published December 1, 2009 10:14AM (EST)


Every week, your challenge is to create an eye-opening dish within our capricious themes and parameters. Blog your submission on Open Salon by Monday 10 a.m. EST -- with photos and your story behind the dish -- and we'll republish the winners on Salon on Tuesday. (It takes only 30 seconds to start a blog.) And yes, mashed potato sculpture counts as a dish. Emphatically.

This Week's Challenge

Inspired by Lauren Garfinkel's "Feast for Bush" project, this week's challenge is for you to create a dish, buffet or menu commemorating (or condemning) a political event from your lifetime. All entries must be edible, so no smearing yourself in ketchup. Besides, Paul McCarthy's got that one covered.

Be sure to tag your post: SKC political feast

Scoring and winning

Scores will be very scientific, given for creativity, execution, appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, and touchdown-to-interception ratio.

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So, let us now celebrate last week's contestants, who took their Thanksgiving leftovers and made them brand-new. And the winner of the Inaugural Salon Kitchen Challenge is ...

Juliet Waters! For giving up the vegan ghost, taking a shot at colonialism, and by bravely celebrating American Thanksgiving with a dish born of the British Empire.

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In the Soup and Side/Best Mention of Corn Nuggets category:

Madland, for turkey and asparagus soup and a "side inspired by corn nuggets, deep-fried balls of sweet corn and goo that you can find in truck stops in South Mississippi." 

In the category of Best Pie Tip Coupled With a Brutally Cynical View of Thanksgiving:

Mr.Rien, for instructions on turning your pumpkin pie into pumpkin pie brûlée, and a painful remembrance of family and drinking alone. "This recipe takes the reason why people love crème brûlée (the crack of that delectable sugar) and multiplies it, increasing the surface area (and therefore the pleasure) to the power of fuck! Yum!" 

In the Intimidatingly Accomplished (OK, I Called in a Ringer) category:

Ian Knauer, for goose rillettes with cranberry gelee. (And a photo of a raw goose neck.) "That was all I had; parts, a little cranberry sauce, some goose fat, and a bottle of hard cider. To me, that spells rillettes." 

In the Social Graces category:

Sueinaz, for this bit of advice: "For this soup to taste delicious it is important to apologize to anyone you insulted/offended on Thanksgiving. Send a generic e-mail to everyone at your party thanking them for coming over and apologizing for being drunk/belligerent/overly emotional, etc." 

In the Dish I Would Most Like to Eat category:

RebFar, for turkey, cranberry, goat cheese ravioli and likening leftover turkey to failed romance: "Once hot and steamy, it gives way to cold storage, inducing a slight nausea born of having overindulged the day before." 

And, finally, for Most Gratuitous Mention of Champagne for Bonus Points (and there were plenty of them!):

Kathy Riordan, for, well, this: "Take leftover turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and cranberries and put all into a blender until liquefied. Mix half and half with champagne in a tall flute and enjoy!"

By Francis Lam

Francis Lam is Features Editor at Gilt Taste, provides color commentary for the Cooking Channel show Food(ography), and tweets at @francis_lam.

MORE FROM Francis Lam

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Food Kitchen Challenge Thanksgiving