Scavenger Hunt Results!

March 17, 2009 | By | COMMENTS


The results are in and seven women–Jamie, Julie, Breanne, Stephanie, Brooke, Tamara and Rachel–are competing to win two tickets to Tom Colicchio’s “Toast to the Children” event at The Mandarin Oriental on April 7th. For those who missed it, I posted a scavenger hunt on the blog last Thursday that would send my readers all over New York, seeking luminaries of the food world and some of the tastiest bites I know. Everyone who participated told me how much fun they had and I can only imagine that having an excuse to eat cannolis on Arthur Avenue, soup dumplings at Grand Sichuan and sturgeon at Russ & Daughters was more of a treat than a burden. I’m sure all the participants are desperate to know who won, so let’s get started.

The first e-mail I received was from Jamie S. who posted her results here.

You can see Jamie in the lead photo of this post–that’s her with David Chang–and this is her with frogs in Chinatown:


And inside the Dessert Truck:


Unfortunately, despite hitting Le Cirque, Magnolia, Keens, and Le Bernardin, Jamie did not win the scavenger hunt. But thanks, Jamie, for entering!

Next up, we have Julie Mack who, when I first saw her album (click here) I considered the most formidable of contestants. Julie ate a chocolate peanut butter cookie at The Levain Bakery:


She demonstrated a vegetable peeler at the Union Square Farmer’s Market:


She met Rachel Zoe Insler, owner of Bespoke Chocolates (and a reader of this site):


She even got licked by Bonnie Slotnick’s dog:


Alas, it wasn’t enough to win her tickets to the big event. Still, her pictures were pretty delightful, weren’t they? And don’t you think she had fun? Thanks Julie for playing!

Then there was Breanne Kutch (entry here) who also had a wildly impressive array of photos. She put doughnuts on her fingers at The Doughnut Plant:


She cradled a papaya at Gray’s Papaya (check out those guys in the window):


She journeyed to Flushing, Queens and ate very authentic Chinese food:


But, this author is sad to say that all her efforts–however breathtaking–did not win her the gold. But do not feel bad for her: now she can speak with authority about all of the city’s culinary treasures. Thanks Breanne for playing!

Next up: Brooke White (album here) who ate my favorite cannoli at Madonia Brothers on Arthur Ave:


Who held a real truffle at Dean & Deluca:


And who ate the city’s best pizza at DiFara:


But, Brooke White, I am sad to say that–like last year’s Brooke White on American Idol–you are not the winner. But, take heart: while Brooke White on American Idol was cheesy in a bad way, you’re cheesy in a good way: filled with Madonia Brothers ricotta and DiFara pizza mozzarella. Thanks for playing!

Meet Tamara Hamdan (album here (you were supposed to use Flickr!)) Tamara bravely sported a “Sex & The City” t-shirt outside Magnolia:


And she too held a truffle at Dean & Deluca:


But, I regret, that like that truffle, Tamara’s hopes of winning have been sliced very thin by the competition. Thanks, Tamara, for your submission!

And now we come to the final two. These two both cracked 400 points in the hunt: they really went for it, diving head first into the contest, fearless in their quest for the gold.

First there’s Stephanie Krasinski who has not one but TWO album of photos, here and here. Stephanie visited Cezanne’s apples at the MoMA:


She slurped soup dumplings at Grand Sichuan:


And she too visited Bonnie Slotnick and her dog:


She hit Levain Bakery, the Biryani Cart on 46th and 6th, The John Dory, The Chocolate Room at City Bakery, Ebe Ye Yie from Robert Sietsema’s book, Madonia Brothers, Dos Caminos, Per Se, Momofuku Milk Bar, The Dessert Truck, ate Chinese food in Flushing and even got her name on the list at Minetta Tavern. But, despite her incredible accomplishments, Stephanie was trumped by the ultimate winner of this competition. And that person is…

Rachel Wilke!!!

Check out Rachel’s entry here. It’s not that Rachel went to more places than Stephanie, it’s just that she scored some meaningful points. She dressed like a surgeon and ate sturgeon at Russ & Daughters:


She got a picture with “Sirio” at Le Cirque (note: she didn’t get the full points here–just a few):


She, like Stephanie, got a reservation at the impossible-to-get-into Minetta Tavern (that’s her with the hostess):


She ate kenkey at Ebe Ye Yie:


And, finally, her ultimate coup: she not only met Adam Kuban:


She shared a slice of pizza with him outside of DiFara!


And with that final stroke, Rachel is our winner!!

Thanks to everyone who participated: especially you, Stephanie, for coming so close (I’m going to send you a 2nd place prize, to be determined!) This was a ton of fun to organize and it was a real thrill to see your pictures.

Everyone else, who knows? Maybe I’ll do an international Amazing Race style scavenger hunt next! As for now, though, I need to give my head a rest. Adding all those points was more math than I ever intended to do as an adult.

Congrats, again, to Rachel. I’ll be seeing you on April 7th!!

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  • pleasurepalate

    How fun and creative to come up with a foodie scavenger hunt. I think I want to do something like that in LA. :)

  • Stephanie

    I am so deppressed! And may I add, that Bonnie made the sign for me, as I was the very first to visit her!!

    Congrats to Rachel!

    Thanks so much this was awesome!!

  • Adrienne

    Oh man, so fun to look at these photos! Congratulations, Rachel :)

  • Laura

    So jealous that I’m not in NYC.

  • Natalie Sztern

    Don’t u wish u could award all of them a prize…how about a restaurant offering up a meal they could all share together!!!


    Boy that looks like a lot of fun. Just as soon as school is out (I’m a culinary school student) I now have a long list of places to go / goodies to get, thanks to you.


  • Regina

    The guy in the foreground of the Dessert Truck photo kinda looks like John Krasinski… that would be prize enough for yours truly.

  • zeep

    Holy cow, good job folks – quite an impressive turnout… Well-deserved congrats to Rachel!

  • Annie Newman

    Adam, that was a GREAT creative idea. Now come up with something that people outside of NYC can do!

  • kath the cook

    Rachel must be full. Big congrats to her for the super-human (super-foodie?!) effort. Big fun to read about.

  • Bonnie Slotnick

    I was so impressed with these wonderful, crazy people! Such dedication. And how did they keep looking so good during the entire marathon event?

    Just one correction–Rollins, that photogenic and highly affectionate dog, is not mine; he belongs to my friend Mike, and I was babysitting while Mike was away. Rollins LOVED hearing about all the food!

  • Rachel

    Thanks for all the compliments! It was certainly a lot of fun – definitely a great way to fill up the weekend.

    Here’s some funny stuff:

    1) Mike (my photographer) and I saw Breanne at Joe the Art of Coffee. We immediately thought she was doing the scavenger hunt, given the extensive Google Maps she was holding.

    2) I’m almost positive I took a seminar with Brooke back in my NYU days.

    Looking forward to the event!


  • Jaime

    Holy crap. I think I went to college with Rachel Zoe Insler. Small small world.

  • Jamie S

    congrads rachel, impressive!