Old October 26, 2014, 03:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Gnome Cooking (Sima)

Autumn: Era XXI

The promotional flyer had told of a cookery contest on Demios, to raise funds for the local orphanage. Home cooks were invited to take part in a competition in three stages. Stage one would have three parts (The Mystery Crate, The Skills Test and the ShowStopper Challenge) and the five best would go through to the semifinals. From there, three would be chosen for the final.

Any home cooks were welcome to enter, full details were given as to how and all the cooked food would be sold to those who had paid entrance fees to come and watch. All monies to the orphanage, a chance to meet some much better cooks (there were professional judges and it was likely to attract a high calibre of folks).

And there were thirty of them to begin with. Thirty contestants. Each one had a bench to work at and, in front of them a wooden crate, the contents of which were currently hidden.

They had been told that they could bring equipment etc if they wished, but that all the equipment they needed would be provided on loan for the duration. Any items they brought would be checked beforehand and this process was happening. When that process was done, then they would begin.

ooc: just let me know what, if anything you've brought with you either legitimately or not. Be warned that if you choose to cheat and are caught you will be exited from the competition and that is a real possibility. Let's have fun!
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Old October 26, 2014, 04:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sima is on his way to the tavern to check on some gossips, maybe leads to the next 'profitable' information. Walking with his pet dog Roy, he picked up a flyer lying on the street.

"Hmm, wonder what this is." He'd read what is on the flyer.

"A cooking contest for the orphanage, that's nice. Should we join Roy?" He'd look at his puppy's direction (a puppy almost as large as him), Roy would not really understand or do anything.

"Well, I don't mind the prize but if this is for the children then maybe I should participate." Sima decided to join the cooking contest.

Sima would then proceed to where this cooking match will be held to register. He won't be needing his knives cause they are all for fighting. Instead, he'd borrow the things he need in cooking from the organizers.

OOCI watch masterchef
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Old October 26, 2014, 05:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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He registered and he was there, amongst the thirty as he stood at his bench / workstation. There were knives and pots and pans and all sorts of things there - every piece of equipment that he could want, really.

And then, once they had made their way around and checked what equipment and so on, there in front of them was Grag Willace. Famous for being a judge in competitions such as this and next to him, a woman who Sima might not know. Her name was announced as Moonika. She was, apparently, the under-chef to a most famous Jaedaxian chef called Michelle.

"In front of you" called out Grag "Is a crate. It has twelve ingredients in it. You have one and a half candlemarks to make something delicious from some, or all of the ingredients. They have been split into three -the starter, the main and the dessert. You also have a basic larder underneath your benches. Ready... on your marks... COOK!"

And when Sima lifted the crate (in fact, considering his size he might need someone to do it for him, there was a member of the crew on hand to do that) he saw, for the starter the following ingredients:

Prawns.
Scallops.
Mussels.
Fresh Cream
A selection of herbs (feel free to improvise!)
White Wine
Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Carrots
Oranges
Lemons
Cauliflower

And the first thing that he had to do, was to create the starter. Any ingedient that he did NOT use on the starter, he could carry across to the main - but the movement was ONLY in that direction.

ooc I know that you wouldn't cook starter then main then dessert, but for the purposes of this thread, I'll do it that way. The basic larder is a'la masterchef. Enjoy!
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Old October 26, 2014, 11:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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He'd be needing a tall stool to reach the top of his bench, unless there's a pixie in the competition he might probably be the smallest competitor. He is not familiar with famous chefs but would admire them for the good food.

So, a starter. "Hmm."

He'd look at the ingridients with him. "Seafood.. hmm."

He's not good with seafood but he has to make something appetizing. Inside his head he'd be formulating a recipe from the ingridients with him, recalling experiences from various taverns that serve seafood.

"Ah.."

He'd pick out the ingredients he would be needing.
He'd then take the Prawns, this would be the protein he'd be using for the starter course. The rest of the ingredients he'd leave at the crate, he'll be using them for the main course and the desert.

He'd take out a knife, the chopping board, a saute pan, some bowls and arrange them on his bench. Always the organized cook.
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Old October 27, 2014, 07:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Indeed, Sima had been provided with the equipment needed to ensure that he was able to compete the same as everyone else, and there was general cheering from the (it has to be said quite small at this early stage) crowd as the competition got underway. Sima chose his ingredients carefully and put everything out carefully. Grag and Moonika made their way around and chatted to people as they cooked.

When they got to Sima's section, Grag looked at the pepper and garlic and raised an eyebrow Careful not to overwhelm those beautiful prawns" he said. THe human man was bald and cheery, although Moonika seemed less prone to smiling and was much more severe. She did not say anything at all, but she nodded her head in approval at Sima's very organised way of working and gave him a brief, but beautiful, smile.

The time ticked on and Sima and his fellow competitors cooked. Two people from the group of thirty were evicted from the competition for cheating (they tried to sneak in spices) and the time that they had to create the dishes seemed to fly by at an impossibly fast speed. It was made more difficult by not knowing the kitchen station where he worked, of course, for familiarity breeds speed in cooking, but that was a disadvantage that they were all working under.

"TIME!" called Grag, and their starters had to be placed for judging please just let me know what his dish was

But the contestants had no time to be pleased or not with their efforts, for the main courses had to be started. The second compartment of the crate contained the following:

Steak
2 x rabbits
Chicken Thighs
Turnips
3 x onions
Bacon
Ham
Soft cheese
Bread
Red Wine

And the second course had to be started. They could use, of course, any ingredients from the starter that they hadn't used.

Contestants Remaining (including Sima) = 28
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Old November 16, 2014, 03:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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He started cooking his starter. Had to catch up but can't mess up.

Measure the ingredients he would need then start heating the olive oil in the saute pan. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and paprika and sauté until fragrant. Increase the heat to high, add the shrimp, lemon juice and dry white wine, stir well, and sauté until the shrimp turn pink and are opaque throughout. Taking Grag's advise on not overwhelming the prawns.

Season with salt and black pepper, sprinkle with the parsley. The starter course is done. Now he just had to present it on a plate. Sima would place the shrimps on a plate and garnish with a slice of lemon on the side.

"Perfect." He'd tell himself.

As soon as Grag announces time, he'd place his dish for judging.

Sizzling and Spicy Shrimp with Garlic and Parsley

Now time for the main course. Lots of meat to choose from, gnomes like veggies but for this cook-off maybe cook the Rabbit instead. Some taverns he visited had quite nice smelling rabbit dishes.

He'd take out the ingredients he needed.


He'd fix his station and ready the things he needs. He'd start with chopping the rabbit into his desired serving pieces, not too small nor too big.

He'd grill his rabbit, occasionally turning the pieces for even cooking, while he makes the sauce.

He'd start chopping the onion, peeling the orange, segmenting the orange, and measuring the other ingredients he would need. Then he'd start with frying the onion until they soften. He'd add the orange and parsley then lower the heat.

He would then pour half glass of white wine and cook until the alcohol smell is gone. Then add some salt and pepper.

Once the rabbit is cooked he would serve it on a plate and pour the orange-white wine sauce over it.

Once done plating, he'd serve it. Garnish with some orange and parsley.

Grilled Rabbit with Orange and White Wine Sauce

Not that he is fond of citrus taste, it is more of the color that he likes about citrus fruits.
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Old November 16, 2014, 08:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It was a nerve wracking experience for the gnome and, as his second course got taken for judging and Sima just had time to clear down his work station before it was time for the final course to be prepared.

And so, including the left over ingredients from his first two courses, Sima now revealed that he also had the following ingredients for his final dessert course.

peaches x 3
plums x 6
raspberries
strawberries
chocolate - milk and dark
eggs x 6
sweet wine
brandy
lemon curd
coconuts x 3

The basic larder that he had included the ingredients for cake, batter or pastry making, if he wished it, but Sima knew that right now his biggest contest was against time. And as though they knew it (which of course they did) the judges left them alone during this last part of the first round.

And when it was done and TIME!! was called by Grag, the people in the room let out a sigh of relief and were then escorted to a waiting room where they would sit and have refreshments until called, one by one to get feedback. Once the feedback was given, a man from the crew told them, they would reconvene and find out who was staying and who was out of the competition.

And so Sima had the experience of waiting until, in fact, his name was called and the man from the crew who did all the talking took him back into the big room where the audience was watching him and Grag and Moonika had his three plates in front of them.

Contestants Remaining (including Sima) = 28

ooc good to see you back!
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Old November 16, 2014, 09:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Dessert must be the gnome's weakest area, he is not really fond of anything sweet. As he prepares his station, he worries on what ingredients he would use. He kept it minimal as not to complicate the dish, but Sima would get some herbs he could use for garnishing.
  • Two Peaches
  • Butter, Unsalted
  • Brown sugar
  • Dark Chocolate, Chopped
Start by whisking the butter and brown sugar then coating the halved and pitted peaches. Prepare the grill, grill the peaches cut side down. Grill until slightly charred then turn over. Divide the dark chocolate over the peach cavities and grill until they start to melt. Remove them from grill and place them on plate. Voila!

Now to do the task of plating. Sima would place two grilled peaches on the plate and garnish with mint and some dark chocolate crumbs on the side.

That should do it. He still has enough time to clean his station.

Grilled Peaches with Dark Chocolate

Then Grag would call time and they would all do us instructed. Then when his name got called he would proceed and see the judges and his three dishes.
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Old November 18, 2014, 02:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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And when his time came to be judged, Sima had the strange and possibly somewhat unnerving experience of looking at Grag and Moonika who stood, tasting his food and commenting on each course.

Starter
"I like it!" said Grag, cheerfully. "I was worried that you'd overwhelm the shrimp, but it's tasty and the sauce is good". But somehow, everyone knew that it was Moonika that was the one to impress. She tasted and looked at him, deadpan. "The shrimp is well cooked and the garlic doesn't overpower it. I don't know why you put parsley in there, it's an ingredient too far" she said and pushed away his dish as though it offended her.

Main
Grag and Moonika tasted it and shared a glance. Grag spoke first "I... I don't get it" he said, with a small and rather apologetic smile. "Rabbit in white wine sauce, lovely. but why did you put orange in there?" He didn't seem to be asking a question he expected Sima to answer as indeed, Moonika chipped in "Again. One ingredient too far. Keep it simple. The rabbit is cooked well, the sauce would be delicious but you have killed it with the overpowering orange"

Dessert
"Oh, I have died and gone to the place where all foodies go" Grag said and Moonika graced Sima with a rare, brief and beautiful smile. "This is good. This is very good" she said, and she nodded her head.

And when they were all done (and he had no idea of course, how the others had done) all 28 of them trooped out. Grag explained that this round allowed them to trim down from 28 to 14 and that a full half of them would be going home.

Then, in no particular orderthe names were called out of those who were staying in the competition and Sima had the awful experience of standing in a group of 16, 14 of whom would be going home, but then, his name was called.

And so, he was through to Round 2. The Skills Test.

Before that happened, though, Grag and Moonika told them that they would come around and each contestant could ask one of them (the contestant's choice) one question of their own choosing.

Who would Sima speak to - and what would he ask?
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Old November 19, 2014, 10:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Keep it simple, he'd keep the advise in mind. Tavern people just love stuff that has a lot of flavors going on. Sima just assumed before the competition that the audience might be a lot like the people he would most commonly associate with.

He's not worried but is happy he is still in the running in the competition.

So, skills test. Maybe they'd be testing the gnome's knife skills. He knows how to handle it against beasts, perhaps it would be the same here.

An interesting portion, to ask one question. He'd think hard on what question he would ask but can't really think of anything so he'd just go there and ask the first thing that would come to his mind.

When his name is called he would ask Greg instead of Moonika, thinking Greg must have tasted a lot of food in his life.

"What's the best exotic food you have tried in your life?" He would ask. As an adventurer, Sima is thinking that whatever that is he too must try it before he returns back to the Rock.
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Old November 22, 2014, 10:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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That he chose to ask Grag and that it was such a strange question (most people asked about techniques or any foods that either of the judges hated etc) caused Grag to smile a wicked and amused smile. "Roasted fox" he said, quick as a wink. Then he moved on to the next person.

And quite quickly they were pulled together for the skills test. Grag announced it, but Moonika was standing beside him and had a knife in her hands.

"This round, we are asking you to julienne vegetables" Grag said, loudly so that everyone could hear. "That is to chop vegetables in to a baton-like shape, of the same length and thickness. We have provided vegetables, knives and a single piece of julienned carrot for you to work to. Those of you who are smaller, your measurement piece is appropriately sized" he said, cheerily.

Moonika then demonstrated how to do it and, it had to be said, her knife flew and she created a bowl of identical batons of carrot which were then passed around the contestants. They were, indeed, identical.

"This test, two of you go home. The last two to produce a bowl of julienne'd vegetables of their choice which passes Moonika's quality test" he said. Sima's bowl was smaller, but so too was the piece of julienne'd carrot he already had.

If he looked around at the other contestants, Sima would see that they were adopting one of two approaches - speed or accuracy, it seemed. Which would he do?


Contestants Remaining (including Sima): 14
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Old November 22, 2014, 11:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Roasted Fox, that seems quite nice. Sima would think of hunting a fox and making that food some other time, if he could resist the temptation of taking the fox as a pet, that is.

-----

But for now its gonna be knife skills with Sima's most favorite, VEGETABLES. Sima is confident in his knife skills, both in the kitchen and in battle.

"Chop chop" He would start humming as he organize his station for a more efficient process. He'd start the cutting with accuracy, getting the sizes right then build up speed on the process. Hopefully, he'd finish the task just in time.
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Old November 23, 2014, 02:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Sima was not the first of the contestants to take up his bowl. In fact, his choice of accuracy over speed meant that he was the eighth person to go up to the judges' table and to have the inscruitable Moonika look at his work. She examined each of the pieces carefully and then she nodded her head. Smiling at Sima with pleasure she said. "You're through. Good knife skills"

And then, Sima got to watch the rest of the contestants and to see that indeed, they were down to the final twelve. And there, all gathered together, Grag clapped them.

"That's it for this brightening!" he said with a smile. "Tomorrow, you bring up to ten ingredients for your show stopped challenge. The task is to create something which is the best you can cook in two candlemarks. No more than ten ingredients, although there will be a basic larder here."

And indeed, bright and early the next morning it was time. What did Sima bring and what was he going to make? The crowd seemed interested and was bigger than the brightening before.

"So, you have two candlemarks and, at the end of this, you will be down to the top eight!" Grag called out, gleefully "Then, it is the semi final where you are reduced to four and the final where one of you wins. So on your marks... get set... COOK!" he called, and the two candlemarks had begun.
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Old November 25, 2014, 10:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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After the long day, Sima would rest and plan ahead. He'd wake up early to do some shopping in the market for ingredients. He wanted them ingredients to be fresh.

His shopping list would include the 10 ingredients he would be using for the show stopper dish. Sima decided that since it is autumn, he'd be using ingredients that would compliment the season.
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Ripe Plums
  • Blackberries
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Flour (Self-Raising)
  • Cinnamon
  • Suet
  • Lemon
Then he'd go to the competition and get his ingredients checked and in his head, plan ahead.

When the competition starts, he would also start with the cooking. Prepare the ingredients, stay organized. Start with heating the oven and prepping the fruits, wash, peel, and slice.

Then he would go on and make the dough, he is going to make a pudding. Fruits go inside the dough as filling for this pudding. He made three, just in case. Then he would start baking.

After he is done baking, he'd plate the dish, two puddings in one plate. He'd cut one into two and let the fruits pour out. Sima would then cut thin slices of apple and arrange them on the side of the plate. He'd wash some black berries and place them on top of the sliced apple.

Sima would smile to the crowd, proud of his work and would hope he met criteria of this show stopping cooking challenge.

Baked Autumn Fruits Pudding
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Old November 28, 2014, 12:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
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He cooked and he baked, he cut and he chopped and things appeared to be going well. But as the two candlemarks passed, Sima could see that some of his fellow contestants had taken the phrase "show stopper" much more literally. Of course, it was not helped by the fact that a numberbutter, sugar, flour of his ingredients were in the basic larder that he had been told that he would be provided. His dish looked nice, it was well cooked and it was tasty, he knew that. But there were some pretty impressive dishes.

Grag and Moonika made their way around, stopping and inspecting, tasting and sniffing, but they did not speak to any of the contestants. And when it came time, Sima had to know that there were a number of others who had made much more flambouyant dishes than him.

And as they brought his up to the judges, Moonika looked at him critically. "This does not seem like a lot of food for two candlemarks. It seems simple. Also, I noticed that you chose as ingredients things that you could quite easily guess we were providing you with. Have you played it too safe?" she asked, and she seemed genuinely interested in his answer.
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Copyright © 1989-2017 Play by Post LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Aelyria ® is a Registered Trademark of Play by Post LLC.
Created by Juan Gonzalez and People Like You.