Gourmet Survivor II Archives

September 7, 2005

Gourmet Survivor II: The Scavenger Hunt

[For those that missed it, here's the explanation for Gourmet Survivor II: A Benefit for Katrina Victims. I suggest reading that first, before reading this post.]


It's time for a scavenger hunt, boys and girls. A Flickr scavenger hunt, that is. How many Flickr scavenger hunts have there been, I wonder? Do we have the market on that?

Last year's "mass elimination" scavenger hunt had participants raving.

"I had a wonderful time doing boyfriend now thinks I am a spastic...Thanks!!" - wrote participant "Melissa"

"That was the best night of confusing grocery shoppers ever." - typed "Fae."

Now you have an opportunity to have the time of your life. All you need is a digital camera (you can borrow one, of course), a Flickr account and $10 for Katrina victims.

The rules are simple. I'm going to copy and paste them from last year's post:

"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.

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 WEDNESDAY at 11:59 pm, you get 20 points.
Posted THURSDAY at 11:59, you get 10 points.
Posted 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."

This year the list is going to feature many items indicative of or suggestive of New Orleans cuisine. Obviously, many of you live in areas where these items are not easy to find and I've taken that into account. Creative interpretations are encouraged. For example, "dirty rice" (which will be on the list) may be interpreted in various ways and creativity points will be awarded. I'll make note, on the list, of places where you can take creative license. If you're not sure about something, take a chance, and I'll make an executive decision when all the pictures come in.

And now for the most important part: how to post. This is actually pretty easy. I set up a donation page at You can view it here (and I'll have it at the end of the post too.) On that page, you'll see a button that says "GIVE NOW." Just click that, donate $10 and in the comment for your contribution put the link to the Flickr page you made. That's it! Very easy. And that way I'll know that you paid your entrance fee before I look at your pictures. Plus, the list will provide the date you submitted and I can award you the appropriate pointage. If you get it in by the 7th, and the list says 9/7/05, you get 20 points and so on. It'll serve us great.

This'll be the page we'll use throughout the competition to vote for our favorite entries each round. And hopefully that "Total Raised So Far" will keep increasing. For bystanders, this is a page you should bookmark because you can check in and see who's posted Flickr pages so far. It'll be fun.

The money's going to the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief fund. To donate, you need a MasterCard or Visa. I hope that's not a HUGE problem for anyone. If it is, and there's really nothing you can come up with to get around it, please e-mail me at amateurgourmet AT gmail DOT com and we'll figure something out.

Phew. Ok. That was a mouthful. Are you ready for the list? I think you are. On your mark, get set, here we go!

Gourmet Survivor II: The Scavenger Hunt List


[Make sure you're in each and every picture, otherwise it doesn't count!]

[Also, make sure you label your pics on Flickr so I know what it is you're showing!]

1. A bottle of cayenne pepper balanced on your head.

2. A menu from a restaurant that says New Orleans somewhere on it.

3. A dog or a cat wearing a chef's hat.

4. You with a placard outside a restaurant that says:
NOTE: There must be at least one genuine onlooker in the picture! No friends!

5. A cast-iron skillet balanced on your finger.

6. Pecans in your nostrils.

7. You with a baby eating cake. (Because in New Orleans they have those baby cakes...)

8. Dirty rice.
- "Pan-fried leftover cooked rice sautéed with green peppers, onion, celery and giblets." (3 pts)
- Creative interpretation (up to 5 pts)

9. Playing the sax while eating a sandwich.
- (Bonus 1 pt if you have cayenne pepper balanced on your head while you do it.)

10. Crayfish
- (3 pts if it's a real crayfish)
- (5 pts if you dress as a crayfish---no real crayfish needed.)
- (10 pts if you dress as a crayfish and you hold a crayfish too.)

11. You with chicory---defined as "An herb that is dried, ground, roasted and used to flavor New Orleans coffee."

12. Any cookbook that features New Orleans food.
- (Minus 2 pts if the book is Emeril's!) (Just kidding.) (I think.)

13. You flossing with Mardi Gras beads.

14. You kissing a box of grits.

15. Gumbo.
- (+5 pts if Gumby's in the Gumbo.)

16. You drinking hot sauce from the bottle.

17. Prailine. Defined as: "A New Orleans candy. Flat and sweet, it is made of sugar, water, and pecans."

18. Hot peppers that look like famous people.
- (Make a note in the post about who you think it looks like, and you'll be awarded up to 5 pts for creativity and likeness.)

19. You in a t-shirt that says "HOT" somewhere on it.

20. Boudin. Defined as: "Hot, spicy sausage that has pork, onions, rice, and herbs mixed together."

Ok, at this point we'll move away from specifically New Orleans food and broaden the scope a bit for those not in the United States. (Even though items 1 through 20 provide many opportunities for creative point getting.) So here we go!

21. A spork.

22. You in one of those aprons that has a naked body on it.

23. A large wheel of Parmesan.

24. A pair of dentures eating a piece of licorice.

25. A Tupperware party.
- (3 pts for creativity here!)

26. A jello mold.

27. You in a bakery with flour on your face.

28. You playing a cannoli like a trumpet.

29. The "Big Night" DVD in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other.

30. You with a milk mustache.
(+5 points if you make it look like one of those Milk ads by adding text, etc.)

31. Grating cheese directly into your mouth.

32. You holding a rose and a glass of rose.

33. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.

34. A cucumber zucchini sword fight.

35. Someone throwing a tomato at your face: BEFORE.

36. Something throwing a tomato at your face: AFTER.

37. Butternut Squash and Honey Nut Cheerios, doing battle.

38. A CD with food on the cover.

39. David Lebovitz's "Great Book of Chocolate."

40. Eating something in a public place while wearing oven mitts.

41. The New Yorker Food Issue.
(Bonus point if you have last year's too. Ditto for each additional year.)

42. A lobster tank.

43. Nutella under an umbrella.

44. White bread with you looking as "white bread" as you can.
- (Up to 5 bonus points for creativity.)

45. You hugging a Starbucks employee.

46. Picking fruit from a tree.

47. An ice cream truck.

48. You making an ugly face holding Ugly Fruit.

49. The Larousse Gastronomique in one hand and a whisk in the other.

50. You reading your favorite food blog with a knife and fork poised over the keyboard.

Ok, that's it! And please, for the love of God, don't try to do all these things. Just do as much as you can and remember that $10 will help people in need, so even if you don't play to win just play! When you finished taking all the pictures and you posted them on Flickr, click here to donate the $10 and post the link! Thanks!

September 8, 2005

A Succinct Survivor Summary

My mom said today that all these Gourmet Survivor rules are too much for her to read. She doesn't really get it. I imagine that may be true for many of you too---I was so concerned about covering all the bases, I forgot to keep it simple and therefore I am stupid. So here's a very simple breakdown of how this works.

(1) There is a photo scavenger hunt. You have 'til Sunday to play. You take pictures of you with up to 50 objects and post them on Flickr. Then you go to the donation page, donate $10 and in the comments for your donation put the link to the Flickr page you made. Four winners will be announced Sunday night.

(2) These four winners will be paired with four food blogging coaches. (Unfortunately one of our coaches can no longer do it (Louisa of Movable Feast, for those keeping track)---I'm working on a replacement!) The coaches will advise the players on how to best cook whatever they have to cook for each competetive cooking round. They will also host the player's submissions on their sites.

(3) There will be three competetive cooking rounds. Each round will require the contestants to cook a New Orleans staple dish. Readers will vote for their favorite entries by donating $5 on the donation page and saying who their favorite was in the comments next to their contribution. Every $5 = 1 vote. If you donate $20 that equals 4 votes. It's that easy!

After three rounds, we'll be left with one winner. I will send them a cookbook of their choice and maybe more! But remember, the reason we're doing this is to help Katrina victims. Which is why I want as many of you as possible to participate in the scavenger hunt! Even if you just take one picture of yourself with pepper on your head, your $10 will really help people in need. Tonight we had our first submission. Look how much fun this guy had:




This is Jason Sholar's Flickr page and he gets 20 points for turning it in tonight. He was the only one! Where are all the other overachievers in the group?

Actually, would you please post in the comments here whether or not you're going to participate? We need at least 10 people to make this worthwhile! Thanks everyone. Happy scavenging.

September 9, 2005

Two More Submissions

For those keeping track, we've had two more submissions in the Gourmet scavenger hunt. The first comes from William who turned his in later Wednesday night and since I didn't say "Eastern Standard Time" in my original instructions, he gets the 20 points. Here's his Flickr page and here are some funny pictures:

I like this one of him looking "white bread" while eating white bread:


And, of course, dressed as a crayfish:


Then there's Melissa who submitted last night. Here's her Flickr page and here are some funny Melissa pics.

Cucumber/Zucchini battle:


About to get hit by a tomato:


Parsley, Sage, Roemary and TIME:


See how much fun these people are having? You still have 'til Sunday... and plenty of opportunity to stake your claim in the Gourmet Survivor challenge! Don't forget to sign-up/donate here.

September 12, 2005

Winners TBA Tomorrow!

Thanks to all the participants of the Gourmet Survivor II Scavenger Hunt. We've raised $263 dollars so far and are well poised to raise lots more once the cooking begins. All together we had six entrants who braved the absurdity of my scavenger hunt list. For those that missed their entries, check out the links on the donation page. Tomorrow night the four winners will be announced and they'll be paired with our four food blogging coaches: Pim, Jeremy, David and the brilliant and brave: Derrick, who kindly came in last minute. So thanks to all the players and here's to lots more fundraising!

September 13, 2005

And the winners are...

After much work tallying up the points and clicking through thousands (ok, maybe hundreds) of pictures, here are the winners of the Gourmet Survivor II Scavenger Hunt. Tomorrow these winners will be paired with food blogging coaches and hosts who will work with them on Round One of our competition---assignment to be announced tomorrow. Many thanks to all who participated: seven in all. I recommend you check out all their Flickr pages through the donation page to see what a great job they did. Here are the winners in order of when they submitted:

(1) Jason Sholar!


(2) William!


(3) Melissa!


And introducing:

(4) Kmayers! (Sorry, it doesn't say your name anywhere: please fill us in!)


Actually, why don't all the winners fill us in a bit about themselves in the comment section here? Where you're from, what you do, etc, etc.

And as for Ginparis...




(This, by the way, is one of my favorite pictures of the competition. That paper, as proven in another picture, says: "I Was Raped by Emeril." I love that guy's reaction. And it's much less disturbing than corrupting a minor with my sick sense of humor like Kmayers did!


And, finally, Delilahlah (or is it just Delilah?):


Thank you all so much for participating! Your pictures all made me laugh. Stay tuned for assignment one, tomorrow night!

September 14, 2005

Gourmet Survivor II: Coaches and the First Challenge ('Po Boy!)

Players: here are your coaches. You are each, for various reasons based on various whims, paired with a coach who will: (a) coach you through each round, suggesting recipes, techniques, strategies, etc; and (b) host your entry when it is due. It is your responsibility to get in touch with them through their sites [unless otherwise noted] and to get materials to them whenever they ask for them in order to have these entries up by Sunday night at 10 EST. So that's your due date: Sunday at 10 PM. And now for your pairings:

(1) Melissa, because you almost ate his book, you are paired with: David Lebovitz! [note: Melissa, please e-mail me and I'll send you David's e-mail.]


(2) William, by some miracle, you have been paired with your FAVORITE food blogger: Pim! [Hey, readers, check out this awesome profile of Pim in The Observer!]

(3) Jason Sholar, because you are obsessive as a collector, you are paired with an obsessive foodie: Derrick!


(4) Kathy, because it was frosty of you to mentally scar your son with a poster, you are paired with: Jeremy!

Great players, great coaches: it's gonna be a helluva show!

And now for your first challenge... pens and pencils ready?

Challenge #1:
The 'Po Boy


According to Wikipedia a po' boy is: "a traditional sandwich from Louisiana, similar to a hoagie or submarine sandwich. It consists of meat or seafood (typically fried) served on a baguette. A po' boy ordered "dressed" has lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise...

"The term “po' boy” was coined in a New Orleans restaurant owned by Benny Martin, a former streetcar conductor. In 1929, during a four-month long strike against the streetcar company, Martin served his former colleagues free sandwiches. Martin’s restaurant workers jokingly referred to the strikers as “poor boys”. Eventually the sandwiches themselves began to be called "poor boys." Over time this was shortened to "po' boy." These original po' boys were often made with a large, french-fried potato instead of meat to cut costs. The "french fried," meatless po' boy is increasingly hard to find."

And so, players, your job is to make the most scrumptious, exciting, beautiful to behold and shocking to contemplate 'po boy in the universe. It's important that you make something that looks delicious (because pictures are a must!) but is also unique and exciting and different from all the rest. The write-up is up to you. The number of pictures is up to you and your coach. Do you want several step by step pictures like I do on my site? Or one glorious shining picture of the end product to lead with? What will win the most favor among readers?* [*Remember: voting, which will go Monday through Wednesday, is based on monetary contributions of readers. Every $5 = 1 vote. The player who collects the least will be bumped from the game!]

Again, your coaches need to have these up on their sites by 10 PM EST Sunday night. If you have any questions, concerns, or problems contacting your coaches please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Best of luck with your 'po boys!

September 19, 2005

Gourmet Survivor II, Round One: Battle Po'boy

The results are in for round one of our Survivor competition and let me tell you, they are way impressive! You really won't believe what beautiful jobs all the players did and how generous our coaches were with their time and storage space! But now it's on you, readers. Only you can determine who will survive to the next round. I am going to post four Po'boy pictures below that will each, if you click them, lead you to the respective entries. Read all of them and then vote your favorite by pledging $5 per vote on the pledge site. (All pledges go to Katrina victims.) I encourage you to pledge more than $5 to really make a difference, but every bit helps. And make sure to put the name of the person you're voting for in the comments or they won't get the credit! [Also: don't pledge anonymously for the same reason--your comments don't show up.] So with all the formality out of the way, here are four Po'boy entries: click them all and then choose your favorite. You have until Tuesday at 10 PM. Vote your hearts out! [Oh: and David Lebovitz has generously offered to donate a copy of his "Great Book of Chocolate" to the person who pledges the most money. Thanks David!]





September 21, 2005

Gourmet Survivor II: $953 raised so far, Farewell Kathy, and the New Challenge


Boy, what a wonderful first round we had: all the entries were fantastic, and even more fantastic: we raised $953 for Katrina victims! Go us! (If you don't believe me, check out our donation page.)

Battle Po'boy Results
I had a big dilemma just now tallying up the votes in Battle Po'boy. It was so so so close. Here's the thing: I asked people not to vote anonymously because I wouldn't be able to read the comments with who you were voting for, but using the JustGiving software and my "master account" status I was able to see the anonymous people's comments and get a fairer sense of the vote. A few people donated money, totally forgot to leave a name in the comments and frantically e-mailed me afterwards asking to get credit for their vote. So I gave them credit. There's only one thing that makes me feel a bit icky and that's one person who donated $25, didn't say who they were voting for and didn't e-mail me about it. I thought about delaying the results so this person could get in touch with me, but this person didn't follow the rules and I feel like it's better just to count the votes that were properly placed and move on to round two. And so with that said, here's what I tallied up:

Melissa's entry (hosted at raised: $125.

Jason's entry (hosted at An Obsession with Food) raised a whopping: $235.

William's entry (hosted at Chez Pim) raised: $130.

And Kathy's entry (hosted at Frost Street) and which, to my eyes, looked truly delicious raised: $115.

I added up the colums several times and as you can see it was VERY VERY close. But, sadly, the wonderful Kathy has been voted off the island. Thank you so so much for playing, Kathy, and thanks to Jeremy for hosting/coaching her! You will be missed!


The Next Round

Moving on to the dessert front, we're going to have the remaining players--Jason, Melissa and William--make one of my favorite New Orleans treats. Can you guess it? I think you can... BEIGNETS!!


According to Wikipedia, a beignet is: "a pastry made from fried dough and sprinkled with confectioners' sugar. This variety is similar to zeppole. In the United States they are often found in, and typically associated with, the city of New Orleans, Louisiana and the restaurant Café du Monde. Beignets are also found in France, where they are sometimes filled with fruit."

That "sometimes is filled with fruit" provides a clue as to how you can make your beignet stand out. What might you put inside it? Or what may you provide on the side for dipping? We're looking for originality as well as a delicious end product. Best of luck! Your entries, much like last week, are must be posted on your host's site by Sunday night at 10 PM EST. Don't forget to consult these wise host/coaches for beignet making strategies! And thanks, again, to everyone for helping raise so much dough. Ha: no pun intended.


I came home with an e-mail from JustGiving that said the following:

Dear Adam,

You asked us to let you know when someone makes a donation via your American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund fundraising page.

We are pleased to confirm that Brian Schipper has made a donation of USD1,000.00 to American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund.

I moved towards the screen to reread the number. Does that say $1000 or $100? I think it says $1000. Someone donated $1000. Holy cow! That nearly doubles the money we've raised so far. And so it is with great enthusiasm that I give a gushy cartwheeling gigantic THANK YOU OH MY GOD YOU ARE THE B EST to Brian Schipper. We've now raised $1,953 for Katrina victims. Click here to see the breakdown.

September 26, 2005

Gourmet Survivor II, Round Two: Battle Beignet

And then there were three. Players that is. And wait 'til you see the work they did in this round!

A brief recap for those new to the game. This is Gourmet Survivor II, a fundraiser for Katrina victims (and now Rita victims) with money going to the American Red Cross disaster fund. We had four players in the first round make Po'boys. Readers voted their favorites by pledging $5 per vote to the relief fund. Over $2000 was raised. Now we're down to three.

So it's very simple. Click the following pictures to read three different beignet entries hosted on three different blogs. When you choose your favorite, go here and pledge however much money you want in increments of $5 ($25 is recommended and makes you very cool and very sexy---and that gets your player 5 votes.) Make sure to put the name of the person you are voting for IN THE COMMENTS. Otherwise they won't get the credit. You have until Tuesday at 10 pm EST. The one who's raised the least cash gets voted off.

Ok, and that's it! So here they are, entries from Melissa, William and Jason. Thanks to them and to our food blogger hosts for all their work. Enjoy the scrumptiousness below!




September 28, 2005

Gourmet Survivor II: An unbelievable $2,748 raised so far, Farewell Melissa and The FINAL Challenge


Battle beignet was truly inspiring. Really, all the entries were masterful. I mean just look at those pictures in the post below this: don't you want these people in your kitchen making you beignets right now? WELL I HAVE THEM IN MINE... I'VE KIDNAPPED THEM ALL AND THEY'RE BOUND AND GAGGED MAKING BEIGNETS WITH THEIR FEET.. WAHAHAHAHA...

Just kidding. So let's get down to business. First order of business: money.

When I started this contest, I thought in my head: we will raise, probably, $1000. But that hasn't been the case. No siree. We have raised, for the American Red Cross Disaster Fund, $2,748!!! So thank you so so so much to EVERYONE who voted, and to all our players and coaches.

Now for the sad moment where we announce who we'll be saying farewell to. (Those who read the title have a heads up.) She wowed us with her Po'boy and then gladdened us with her beignets, but Melissa--protege of David Lebovitz--has been voted off the island. She raised $205 this round, impressive, but not enough to beat William's $240 or Jason's $300.

So thank you so much Melissa for playing! You can feel good that you helped raise so much money for people in need!

And now it's on to the FINAL BATTLE: William vs. Jason. What should they have to cook?

Now's the time for YOU to chime in dear readers. Below you can vote for the dish William and Jason will have to cook for their final battle. You have until tomorrow (Wednesday) night at 10 PM to vote. They have until Sunday at 10 PM to prepare this final dish. Their fates rest on YOUR shoulders. Get to it!

Gourmet Survivor II, The Final Frontier: Any New Orelans Dish They Choose

The people have spoken. 308 people voted. And the majority of these people want Jason and William to make, for their final battle: "any New Orleans dish of their choosing." So gentlemen, you have your instruction. My only caveat will be: please limit your entry to ONE dish. It may be tempting to cook a New Orleans feast but let's not be wasteful. One dish of your choice prepared extremely well. Best of luck! And, again, it's due Sunday night at 10 PM.

October 3, 2005

Gourmet Survivor II, The FINAL BATTLE: William vs. Jason

It's all led to this. Four weeks and several thousand dollars later, atop a heap of broken hearts and dirty dishes, William and Jason stand ready to do their final battle. The instruction was simple: make any New Orleans' dish you'd like, only make it great and wildly impressive. That they did. In case you don't know the procedure, read their entries by clicking the pictures below and then vote for your favorite here by donating $5 per vote (a $20 donation is suggested) and putting the name of the person you're voting for IN THE COMMENTS. [Otherwise it doesn't count.] Remember all money raised goes to the American Red Cross disaster relief fund. You have until Tuesday night at 10 PM. Much thanks to all the participants, coaches and voters. If you have a blog, why not link to this final battle so we can raise as much money as possible? And without further ado, here's the final battle: William vs. Jason. May the best man win.



Voting Update

I've received some frantic e-mails from interested parties concerning anonymous votes on the Gourmet Survivor II donation page. Please don't vote anonymously! Here's the tally so far:

$25, $25, $5, $5, $25, $5, $10 = $100

$100, $20, $200, $25, $25, $10, $5, $25, $10 = $420

William seems to be way ahead but some mysterious person donated $200 and wrote in the comments "Buffaloe Chips required to win." Who is this vote for? Anyone want to clear it up?

And remember: you have 24 more hours to help us choose our winner. Don't be shy with your dinero!

October 5, 2005

An Unbelievable Outcome

Our Gourmet Survivor II outcome is unbelievable on two counts:

(1) We raised, in total, $4198 for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. That's unbelievable. I'm so wowed by this, you have no idea. So we've done a great thing here with Gourmet Survivor II!

(2) I have totaled up the results over and over and over again for this final round and I keep getting the same results:

Jason: $575
William: $575

Exactly the same. EXACTLY. Is this a tie? Is that our result? I think so! Do we have two Gourmet Survivor Champions? I believe that's the case. So allow me to congratulate our winners:




Your work in this contest was exemplary. Honestly. I'd eat at your tables gladly anyday. Please e-mail me privately with your mailing addresses and a few cookbooks that you like and I'll send something your way. Your greatest reward, though, is the knowledge that you helped raise over $4000 for victims of a devastating catastrophe. So thank you so much for doing all the work you did these past few weeks. I had so much fun running this and I was inspired by all your work. And on that note: thanks so so so so much to our coaches/hosts---David, Pim, Derrick, and Jeremy. Your cooperation surely contributed to the grand amount of money we raised. And of course to our eliminated contestants, Melissa and Kathy, and our scavenger hunt contributors---another big thanks. And finally to you, the readers, without your votes and generous pledges we'd never have gotten as far along as we did. So again, thank you thank you thank you. It's been an extraordinary run.

Much congratulations Jason and William! You done well! Go celebrate!

And Gourmet Survivor II is now ended. Peace be with you all. [Dramatic music plays. Curtain.]

October 11, 2005

A Button

I would like to make an animated button for the side of my site that says the following (in sequence):


And then a link to the donation page here. A picture would be nice: maybe the Red Cross sign or something.

So if someone can make this, I'd be very grateful. Please post the link to the button you make in the comments so other people, when they come along and read this, can see that someone beat them to it and don't waste their time. Thanks!

About Gourmet Survivor II

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to The Amateur Gourmet in the Gourmet Survivor II category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Gourmet Survivor is the previous category.

Hot Cross Podcasts! is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35