The snow stared falling about half way up the logging road, as we snuggled in the back of the car.
After arriving at the trail head, we leisurely hiked to Brew Hut, making it there in less than three hours. The large group battled through snow and slippery rocks, but made it to the hut in high spirits. After unpacking and settling in, the group played copious amounts of cards, awaiting the true challenge.
After approximately 1000 false announcements, the secret ingredient was unveiled. Drum roll please……. CRANBERRIES, in all forms, including juice, jelly and raw. With excitement high, soon after the teams went to work.
As the teams cooked frantically, Judge Erica (Haugland) pestered with interview questions, while Judge Artem (Babaian) documented the perfected process.
TEAM MORIMOTODish: Main– Garlic Mashed Potatoes with shiitake mushrooms, prosciutto and spicy cranberry sauce. Dessert– Strawberry apple crepes, topped with chocolate and sweet cranberry sauce.
What would you consider is your teams upper hand? Our extensive kitchen setup and backcountry pantry. (as seen by the 100 spices stored in test tubes)
TEAM SAKAIDish: Main– Chilli, with a subtle cranberry undertone. Dessert– Cranberry Crême Brulée.
If you had three words to describe your dish, what would they be? Multicultural, extraordinary, stylish. And a quote, excellently executed to accompany, “Shoot for the starts. Even if you miss, you will land on the moon.”
TEAM KENICHIDish: Main– Chickenless Butter Chicken, with butter infused cranberries ( a variation of a VOC heritage recipe). In their own words, “Christmas in Hawaii”. Dessert– Cranberry caramelized apple crumble.
On a scale of one to ten, how stressed are you and your team? Sadie (Cameron)– Now, like the rest of my life, a solid ten. Rest of team– Feeling good, pretty chill, a two.
TEAM MICHIBADish: Main–Dahl, garnished with cranberry to soften the spice. Dessert– Backcountry brownies with chilli and cranberries. Common theme– spicy, but sweet.
What is your biggest challenge moving forward? It must be timing, and ensuring our dish is not to hot, but not to cold. A goldilocks situation, if you will.
After some serious judging (eating, while everyone else drools), a winner came out on top. Congratulations to TEAM MICHIBA! And now the real fun, the potluck!!! I can easily say that I have never had such amazing food in the backcountry, or been so full. After the excellent dinner, the group settles into the VOC songbooks and sang until bed.
After a leisurely morning of cards, while the brave summited Mount Brew, the team started down to the cars. The sky cleared near the end, revealing the beautiful scenery, giving a perfect ending to a perfect weekend.
With full bellies, and satisfied spirits, the group headed back to Vancouver. In the wise words of Sadie, “The real prize is the friendships we make along the way.” Three cheers for us, one for Joe O’Brien, our Chancellor and trip organizer, and one for the VOC!
Bonus Video via Chang Tsai