And with that, I present to you, the winning picture, submitted by Alex Schulten, food lover and member of competitive cooking team and caterers, Righteous Burn (who recently snagged First Place, People's Choice in the Brooklyn Brunch Experiment!):
Seriously impressive, no? Alex clearly got his grill on so I had a little Q&A via gchat with him to get the breakdown.
me: SO! what are we lookin' at?
Alexis: You're looking at beer, lime, and garlic marinated skirt steak that was rubbed with salt, pepper, onion powder, smoked paprika (as i do), garlic powder, mustard powder, and then grilled. Grilled pineapple, grilled red onion, grilled corn (that is rubbed with a chipotle mayo and cotija cheese and a hit of lime. There is also grilled watermelon that should be excluded bc it tastes like burnt water, it does look nice though. and the wine is a Chateau Ste Michelle Pinot Gris
me: yowsa. quite the spread. who did all the cooking? or was it delegated?
Alexis: I did everything and the green is a homemade chimichurri sauce
me: are you willing to share the recipe for your secret sauce?
Alexis: of course - 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, 2 bay leaves, 6 or 7 garlic cloves (can't remember), 2 teaspooons smoked spanish paprika, 1 tablespoon dried oregano (fresh is ideal, wasn't available in my supermarket), 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1 1/2 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste then you put it all in a food processor and let it go until smooth
me: gorgeous. will have to try that asap. thanks! what's your favorite part about cooking?
Alexis: I like being able to put my own creativity into a dish. When you work for a tanker company in oil shipping, there is not much room for creativity. So it is a nice break. But I've always been drawn to cooking and eating, I almost dropped out of college to go to culinary school.
me: did you?? what did you want to do with a culinary degree?
Alexis: Yea I did. My Junior year in college...delusional, but head chef into owning a restaurant. I still fully intend to own a restaurant, just don't want to be working in a kitchen.
me: i hear ya. it's what holds me back too. then i consider catering. have to figure that out. culinary idol?
Alexis: Wesley Genovart (Degustation) for chef & Zak Pelacio (Fatty Crab & Fatty 'Cue) / Jack and Grace Lamb (Degustation, Harvest Supper, Jack Luxury Oyster Bar, and Jewel Bako). Yea, we are trying to turn Righteous Burn (our cooking team) into a catering / cooking competition thing. We have catered for six point brewery and we have a graduation in June that we are also catering
me: LOVE it. aaand favorite ingredient (besides smoked paprika)?
Alexis: favorite ingredient, eh. I love garlic. is Pork Belly an ingredient?
me: i don't know what i'd do without garlic. pork belly sure as hell can be an ingredient. ok, final question. last meal. go.
Alexis: would it be lame to channel my inner bourdain?
Alexis: I need to think about this for just a minute. Bourdain's is roasted bone marrow, sea salt, and an arugula salad I believe from the restaurant St. John in London. I cant use that. but i have had it many times and it is great but not my last meal. Can I say two?
me: absolutely n...yes
Alexis: The Zuzu's Gyro from Papa Zuzu's in Charleston, SC and .... Ribs, pulled pork, and growler of six point Brownstone Ale at Fette Sau
me: oh, hells yes. thank you for making me uncomfortably hungry way before lunch time.
Alexis: You should be in my shoes sitting here racking my brain for the best food i've eaten since freshman year of college
me: sorry for making you use your brain!
Alexis: well now im STARVING
me: err, i'm sorry? no, no i'm not.
Alexis: hahahaha, i want to add Chef Sean Brock to the list of culinary idols. he is the chef at McCradys in Charleston - my all time favorite restaurant and where I had my rehearsal dinner
me: lovely last minute addition. ok, i'm ending this interview before i start gnawing on my mousepad. thanks for your kick ass submission, alexis.
Alexis: You're very welcome. ASSchulten signing out
This is certainly not the last time we'll be playing this little game. I have too much fun getting insight into your lives and stomachs! To follow Alex and the Righteous Burn on Twitter, click here and here.
As for the rest of you, better luck next time! Can't wait to see what's for dinner...or lunch...or...?