Explorer Chef is back!

Goat’s Cheese, pesto, olive oil and walnut salad followed by pasta carbonara and apple strudel for dessert. No, I haven’t started a new career as a food critic, this is the menu that was very well executed by Jack, Louis, James and Emilia at Southgate District Explorer Chef last night.

Last night was the rebirth of a competition that used to be very popular and it was a successful start. The aim is to plan a good and straightforward three course menu to cook over an open fire with just three hours to build, prep, cook, serve and wash up. The competition were two teams from the Winchmore Hill Unit.

‘Don’t Judge Our Fire’ (Jack, Louis, James and Emilia) got off to what can only be described as a stuttering start with a level of faffing that Dave Preece would be proud of as they started their fire but once they had something resembling a fire on the go and had started to prep their main, the cooking took over – and they’re pretty good cooks!

They were up against another well prepared salad and a bowl nachos when the starters were served and in truth, there wasn’t much between the salads (no comment on nachos). The three main courses were the carbonara, a stir fry and some chicken kebabs served with satay sauce, rice and corn on the cob – all three, very tasty.

Finally, the desserts; a lovely Eton Mess, some marshmallows covered in melted chocolate and ‘Don’t Judge Our Fire’ made a very good apple strudel from scratch. There was a slight hiccup in the cooking process – I heard from a distance Louis exclaiming that ‘the foil [was] open’ which meant that one specific area of the strudel was very, very black.

I filled with pride as I occasionally glanced over my shoulder to see a fire that was far too big and unfortunately for ‘Don’t Judge Our Fire’, the slow start and delayed finish meant they didn’t get the bonus points for timekeeping that would have seen them victorious. I imagine that when we run this competition during the lighter evenings of spring that this team will be expert Explorer Chefs!

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