Gourmet Survivor 2004: Round One, The Mass Elimination Scavenger Hunt


Wow! 50 sign-ups, that’s crazy. Thank you all so much for your interest. This should prove to be a very entertaining project.

Now then, unfortunately, because 50 is way too many to have a proper Survivor contest I’m going to have to eliminate 41 of you. I know, I know: Adam, how can you be so cruel? But it’s not cruelty, people. It’s necessity. If we do an elimination every week (which we plan to do), it would take 50 weeks to get through everyone who signed up!

So 9’s the number, and here’s how we’re narrowing it down: a Scavenger Hunt!

Before we begin, my apologies to those without digital cameras. I know I said it was only encouraged, not required—but I lied. You will need a digital camera to participate. If you don’t have one: beg, borrow or steal one–do what you have to do. This game is about survival and as we all know, survivors have digital cameras.

Now then, on to round one…


Here’s how we play. In a moment, I will give you a list of 50 things to find and photograph over the next four days. For everything you find and photograph, you will get one point. You must (and this is key) include yourself in the photo of the object. In other words, no Google image searching here: you must prove to me that you are there holding and/or slapping this object. And you will do that by including yourself in the picture. This will also serve as an identifier later when we narrow it down to 9: one of your scavenger hunt photos will be your ID photo for the rest of the game.

Now let me say right here, I don’t expect you to find all 50 items. That’d be ludicrous. Instead, you must balance quantity of items found with speed and efficiency. You will be rewarded for posting your photos in a timely manner. Here’s the point breakdown:

Posted by TONIGHT (Wednesday) at 11:59 pm, you get 20 points.

Posted TOMORROW NIGHT (Thursday) at 11:59, you get 10 points.

Posted FRIDAY NIGHT (Friday) at 11:59, you get 5 points.

Posted SATURDAY NIGHT at 11:59, you get 1 point.

And it’s due on SUNDAY at 11:59.

Now remember you can post without finding all 50. So one strategy may be to scramble and find as much as you can before tonight and get those 20 points. Another might be to wait the four days out and get all 50 points by finding every object. That’s up to you.

Finally, there’s the matter of posting. My e-mail account would explode if you all sent me up to 50 pictures each of you holding strange scavenger hunt objects. Therefore, I ask that you use a conventional picture uploading site like Flickr (which seems to be the best) or Snapfish. Upload your photos to one of those sites, then post the link to your album in the comments section below. This will keep everyone apprised of the point spread and will let people know what they have to do to win. That will also factor into the strategy.

Also, posting the link in the comments below will time-stamp your entry so we know how many time points you get.

And that’s it! Oh, and participants are limited to those who signed up in the initial post. I’m going to close sign-ups there once I post this post.

Now here we go. Here’s your Scavenger Hunt list.

Your Scavenger Hunt List

(Remember, you have to be in all these pictures!)

1. A horny melon.

2. The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook.

3. A small child eating an ice cream cone.

4. A cheesemonger behind a cheese counter.

5. Nutella.

6. A potato that resembles a celebrity. (NOTE: I may award bonus points here for creativity, up to 5.)

7. You with an olive on each of your fingers.

8. A milk truck.

9. An Asian market.

10. You wearing a chef’s hat.

11. An old man eating steak.

12. The oldest issue of Gourmet you can find. (Note: make sure the date is visible in the picture.) (The pic with the oldest issue will get an extra 10 points).

13. A kid in a candy store.

14. A fruit tree.

15. You watching the Food Network. (5 points if Mario Batali’s on the screen). (-5 if it’s Rachel Ray).

16. A salad bar.

17. A mandoline.

18. You and someone else eating spaghetti Lady and the Tramp style.

19. A cop (in uniform) eating a donut.

20. A pluot.

21. A bottle of red, a bottle of white.

22. Butcher behind a butcher counter.

23. Someone selling food on the street.

24. A man in a suit eating a hot dog.

25. A pregant woman eating a pickle.

26. An heirloom tomato.

27. A wood-burning oven.

28. Mario Batali.

29. The food section of the magazine stand in your local book store.

30. A Starbucks employee (in uniform) giving you the finger. (This gets 10 bonus points).

31. You crying, peeling an onion.

32. A lunchbox from an old sitcom.

33. You in the Amateur Gourmet pose (see masthead). (Bonus 5 points if you look like me while doing it–ya know, red sweater, glasses).

34. A completely empty refrigerator.

35. Corn with the husk on.

36. A wok.

37. A chocolate-dipped strawberry.

38. The driver’s license of someone with food in their last name. (Like, “Harry Corn.”)

39. A sink full of dirty dishes.

40. An ice cream truck.

41. Peas and carrots.

42. You, having shaken up a bottle of soda, opening it up so it sprays on you. (Extra 5 points if this is a funny picture).

43. Jello wrestling.

44. You beating a beet.

45. Tofu.

46. You making S’mores.

47. A waffle maker.

48. You driving through a drive-through.

49. Movie theater popcorn.

50. You drinking a stiff drink.

That’s it! Good luck!

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