Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Paper Chef # 15 - The Medal Ceremony

The judges have been carefully reviewing all entries, re-read all the rules, selected finalists for all categories, argued over all the details and finally agreed on a winner in all but one category. A grand winner has been chosen along with a Paper Chef Super Saver, a Paper Chef Indiana Jones and a Paper Chef Picasso but we have a tie in the Home Cook category and the judges have decided it was a good thing after all.

So, who takes it? Whose cuisine will reign supreme?


The Super Saver award honours a chef who was able to turn cheap ingredients into culinary masterpiece. The finalists for this category are:

And the winner of the Super Saver award is (drum roll): Tankeduptaco! You just can’t beat legumes and cheap cuts of meat to get the most out of little money… especially when they are so cleverly used and plated.


The Indiana Jones award was created to pay tribute to fearless cooks who moved away from their culinary comfort zone and experimented with new ingredients or new techniques. This is exactly what a fairly high number of participants did for this edition of Paper Chef:

  • Noodle Cook experimented boldly with new flavours to create a visually stunning dish.
  • Louise deep-fried for the first time making beautiful beet chips.
  • Haalo used a very bold combination of flavours (sweet, salty and sour) in her spectacular faux-nigiri sushi.
  • Pille candied beet roots to top her superb mascarpone and white chocolate mousse.
  • Surfindaave made beet ice cream… yes, your eyes didn’t fool you: beet ice cream!

The winner of the Indiana Jones award is (drum roll): Haalo! Although none of the judges would have ever thought about combining these ingredients both were thrilled about the idea after reading the fabulous description of the dish.


The Picasso award rewards cooks playing close attention to the artistic value of food preparation. As such, dishes that are beautifully plated and/or induce a certain level of thought and contemplation on the part of the observer are particularly valued. The finalists in this category are:

  • Noodle cook for the creation of a gorgeous dish and the play on the judges’ cultural backgrounds in the choice of ingredients and techniques.
  • The Belly Timber duo for the decadent and delightful set of dishes composing their Valentine’s day menu.
  • Stephen for his striking beet and pear salad which reminded the judges of the sun’s sweet warmth at a time of the year when it is particularly lacking (at least for us Northerners).
  • Haalo for her exciting play on Japanese culinary tradition in her fabulous nigiri sushi trompe l’oeil.

And the winner of the Picasso award goes to (drum roll): Noodle Cook whose dish, even after considering the slightly unpleasing combination of flavours, was considered extremely thoughtful and creative.


Paper chef Home Cook is awarded to the participant whose culinary talent is put to good use in the creation of dishes meant for the family table and of dishes with a certain comforting quality. The finalists in this category are:

  • Alanna for transforming a 1960’s church cookbook recipe into a pleasant and witty dessert.
  • Marie-Laure for creating delicious and healthy breakfast or snacks which would make your coworkers or your kids’ classmates red with envy.
  • Surfindaave for his great effort at adjusting the menu for the whole family.
  • Louise for the extra care in selecting wholesome food and getting as much information as she can on nutrition.

And the winner of the Home Cook award is (drum roll)… Oh wait! we have a tie! So let’s me rephrase it: the ex aequo winners of the Home Cook Award are: Alanna and Surfindaave! After long deliberations, the judges were unable to find a clear winner in this category. Alanna certainly got extra points for reinventing, with a twist, a very comforting dessert but so did Surfindaave for his hard work at pleasing the whole family. For this reason, and to avoid an unnecessary fight between the two judges, it was decided to grant the Home Cook award to both participants and their excellent entries.


And now, for this month’s Paper Chef Grand Winner… perhaps the most difficult category to judge… the finalists are:

And the winner of this edition of Paper Chef is:

(Last drum roll of the day for our exhausted drummer)

Haalo for her amazing and audacious use of the themed ingredients. Both judges were delighted by the playfulness of the dish. A perfect amuse bouche or appetizer that could feature on some of the most extravagant menus of the planet.


Finally, we would also like to underline the good use of the resources offered on the culinary blogosphere by Marie-Laure, Pille and Ilva. You sure showed us one of the best sources of inspiration available.


Do not forget to visit Tomatilla the first Friday of each month for new editions of Paper Chef. This means next Friday! March the third!


2-minute Noodle Cook said...

Shriek! we've won, we've won! Australia rules the world, after winning 4 categories...

ilva said...

Thanks for a really enjoyable edition of this months Paper Chef! Really tough competition but I have had a lot of fun!

MagicTofu said...

Hi Ilva, it was indeed a very 'competitive' edition. Fufu and I had to talk and review in detail two of the three finalists' entries in order to find a winner. But at the end, I'm not sure this is truly a competition per se...

surfindaave said...

Thanks for hosting a fun event! I appriciate the co-win in the Home Cooking catagory as well as the mention for the Indiana Jones award! Props to everyone for some nice creative efforts!

neil said...

Thanks MagicTofu for the super saver award, I feel so honoured. Also thanks to you and Fufu for all the hard work you put in, to make this such a successful event. Well done!

Haalo said...

Once again a great event - everyone had such fantastic dishes and showed their imagination and innovation - and thank you Magic Tofu and Fufu - for being the hosts of such a fun occasion.


Pille said...

Thank you for the nomination in the Indiana Jones category, as well as underlining a good use of resources!
It was a real pleasure to take part:)

Louise said...

Thanks MagicTofu and Fufu, for the great work compiling and judging those fantastic submissions! I'm glad I had 2 nominations for my first Paper Chef participation :-)
À bientôt!

Emma said...

Wow! Great! Thanks! Congrats to everyone and thanks so much MagicTofu.