The Noodles & Doodles Culinary Arts Cook-Off came back with a new fitting name for their event. Originally the Mount Royal Culinary Cook-Off, the food tasting and auction event raises money for the arts programs at Mount Royal elementary school for the entire year.
This year 9 restaurants competed for a spot in the Canadian Food Championships: The Red Piano, Craft Beer Market, Prairie Noodle Shop, Sage River Cree, El Cortez, Zinc, Highlands Golf Course, Northern Chicken, and Pazzo Pazzo.
A live auction accompanied the food with some items fetching over $800. In the south wing of the school, a separate silent auction was also available to attendees. This year’s cook-off raised over $18,000 for the school.
The People’s Choice and the Judges’ Choice for 2016 go to El Cortez, who cooked up a pumpkin ravioli.
New entrant Prairie Noodle Shop of course picked up the Kids’ Choice award for the noodle-themed cook-off. It was judge Linda Hoang’s favourite.
Sage River Cree took home the Most Creative Trophy as they used clothespins to clip onto their udon noodles.
Craft Beer Market – The cannelloni lollipop was finger food perfect to go with a beer at the pub. It had a good proportion of beef ragu sauce to be drinking all night.
Prairie Noodle Shop – Their cold noodle salad refreshing. With farm fresh veggies topping their ramen, the fusion of east and west certainly makes a great dish to cool down during the summer heat. Due to its popularity, you can head over to their store to chill, because it’s now on their menu.
Sage River Cree – If you like to let your noodles hang, this was the dish whet your appetite. Dressed with chicken and fresh herbs, a touch of acidity in the soup with an udon noodle on clothepin certainly doesn’t leave you out to dry.
El Cortez – Orange you glad Lindsay Porter returned to reclaim her title with this pumpkin filled ravioli. Filled with pork ragu and topped with pumpkin seeds for texture, the use of this member of the melon family certainly squashed the competition.
Zinc – Their lasagna all rolled up took you to the hills of Tuscany. Traditional bolognaise, mozzarella, and the walnut arugula pesto on the palate creates a work of art which could give you Florence syndrome.
Highlands Golf Course – The kick in the tomato sauce in this penne dish was enough to make you scream ‘fore’ more. Topped with just the right amount of greens to be on par to go all the way to the 18th hole.
Northern Chicken – This shake-and-bake style dish was brilliant. Using crushed nachos to top their take on macaroni and cheese, the crispness of the topping with the gooey cheese and chewy pasta was just as good as fried chicken.
Pazzo Pazzo – The Italian restaurant brought out an intermix of all the popular types of pastas such as macaroni, fusilli, and penne just to name a few. Mamma mia!
The Red Piano – They served an unconventional dish with a rendition of the classical peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A jelly ‘noodle’ popped to counterpoint the puree base.
Here’s a reel from the 2015 Culinary Cook-off which raised just under $20,000 last year. The winners in 2015 also included El Cortez for People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice, and Pazzo Pazzo won the Kids’ Choice.
If you missed out on the cook-off today, there’s just another one around the corner. There is a Perogy Cook-Off next week on April 30th from 2-4pm at St Theresa’s Parish. Also a cook-off and silent auction, the event will raise funds for young pilgrims heading to World Youth Day in Poland this summer. Event info here.