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Lest you think I’m completely crazy, let me clarify: I was just a spectator at Enid’s yearly apple pie cook-off.

Co-host of the Food Experiments and overall cook-off guru Nick Suarez was competing, so I brought a friend with me and we showed up at Enid’s on a frigid, frigid afternoon, not knowing what to expect. At 5 when we arrived, there were still stragglers bringing tin foil-covered pies into the hot and insanely crowded restaurant. Balloons dangled from the ceiling, and mingling became a game of dodging balloon strings, or absentmindedly playing with them while talking.

I tried to snap a few pictures of the pies, but with the dim light and jostling elbows around me, I only managed one picture even remotely in focus. There were over 50 pies. Let me repeat that: OVER 50 PIES. That is a lot of pie.


Unlike other cook-offs, the contestants only had to make one version of their pie. The judges tasted all, and then after announcing the winners (congrats on most original pie, Nick!) the crowd was encouraged to dig in. Luckily I was in close proximity of the pie table at the time of the announcement, just by chance. Otherwise I’m not sure if I would have even tasted any. Basically it was madness. Nick handed me a giant knife from across the table. People had paper hot dog trays and someone brought over a plastic cup full of forks. Most of the pies were massacred immediately, some were reclaimed by their owners to be devoured by friends at one of the tables. How do you elegantly take a piece (or really, a morsel) of pie in a mob?

I escaped with bites of about 4 of the pies nearest to me. No chance of trying Nick’s 3 tier tarte tatin creation (sad). After eating our random scraps of pie, we made our escape back into the drizzly cold. Maybe next year I’ll make a pie myself! I love Brooklyn.


Wow. There is really only so much sugar a human can consume in one afternoon. I felt for the judges, I really did. I tried a few of the 20 or so contestants’ dishes, but honestly, my entire mouth was coated in sugar at that stage and I had to stop. The event was a lot of fun, and I hope we raised a lot of money for New York Cares.

And I won something! Best Presentation, which I’m pretty proud of. I got a plastic medal and I am going to cherish it. Cutting 200+ perfect 1×1 squares of cheesecake is HARD, man! I think what sold it was my cute little honey pot though. And the vintage doily. You can’t underestimate the power of doilies.

Anyway, here are some pictures. Enjoy!





Sometimes I get a notion to cook something a little fancier than usual. I came across a recipe on Epicurious for cornish game hens with bacon and figs, and it sounded pretty amazing. I set out to purchase ingredients. No cornish game hens to be found, well, that’s OK, I’ll just use chicken. But no fresh figs!? I’ve been seeing pints of fresh figs at my favorite fruit & veggie deli for the past few weeks and now they don’t have any? No worries, I’ll trek up to the fancy grocery store and buy some figs. NO FIGS. OK, on to plan B. I was wracking my brain to think of what to use instead… and I picked pears. The recipe called for thyme and I thought thyme, pears, and bacon sounded like a pretty delicious combination. Whaddya know, it worked!

I served the chicken with mashed red potatoes, topped with goat cheese and caramelized onions with balsamic (the very same onions I used on a pizza not too long ago. I think these onions will go on everything from now on). This dish would be great for a meal to impress.

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