The sky darkened in June with the northern fires of the Trial By Fire competition sponsored by the Bright Hills Cooks Guild. As a past category winner and grand champion, it saddens my heart to see so few from the south brave the long journey, some say pilgrimage, to lay our offerings blessed by fire. Therefore, it is with great happiness that I can bring this competition, “Prova del Fuoco”, to our southern lands as part of the Festival of Elvegast – The Wedding of Oratio and Isabella!
What is this competition you ask???? This is a timed cooking competition where participants create period appropriate dishes in one of four categories: main, grain, vegetable, or dessert. Competitors will have 4 hours to create documentable dishes that will serve 6-8 people using heat sources from wood, charcoal, or flammable gas. To further Pantalone’s protest of the wedding and all things associated with it, he has refused to grant the boon of electricity.
You may compete alone or as a team. Competitors (or teams) may enter only one dish per category. Competitors (or teams) may enter multiple categories if so desired. A winner will be selected from each of the categories. A fifth category may be added at the judge’s discretion for any competitor or team. While we will not duplicate the title of grand champion, this judge’s choice has earned their bragging rights through their research, execution, presentation, or overall accomplishment.
Dishes will be judged on the following criteria:
- Documentation (ingredients must documentable to the period in which your dish is known or represents and would your medieval cook prepared it the same way you did today (boil, broil, bake, etc?); documentation should be complete and submitted at the time of registering yourself or your team.
- Appearance / Presentation
- Taste (this criteria will be developed in more detail within the next two weeks)
Competitors should bring tables and chairs needed for their preparation and / or cooking. A large shelter will be provided. Pre-registration as competitors is recommended but not required. Any competitor or team who does not submit documentation will be disqualified from judging.
Please direct questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by text, 336-391-2669, before 10:00 PM.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Competition time is 1:00pm – 5:00pm. Competitors may set up anytime prior to 1:00pm behind the main building, under the large carport, or in any other location designated by Mistress Annora.
- Is there water? Yes, in the building. Needs to be hauled to competitor’s workspace.
- Are fire bowls allowed? Yes.
- Are fire extinguishers required? Yes, at least one per competitor.
- Are grills allowed? Yes.
- Are ground fires allowed? No digging.
- The recipes DO NOT need to be from any particular time and place.