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!

63 thoughts on “Gourmet Survivor 2004: Round One, The Mass Elimination Scavenger Hunt”

  1. Oh, sh*t you are crazy, but if you’re gonna eliminate, you gots ta do it right, right? It’s on, now.

  2. This may seem dumb but I don’t understand the point system. Can we only link to our pictures one time or every day? And if I were to post 5 pictures today do I just get 20 points or do I get 20 points for every picture?

  3. A Big Fan of the AG

    Adam, I’m delighted that we, your loyal readers, can participate in the elimination portion of your competition. After two straight weeks of the Olympics and the mediocrity of the judges at that tournament, I’m positive “we” can do a MUCH better job!

  4. You can only post your pictures once. You get an additional 20 bonus points if you post the album by tonight, not 20 points per picture. Each picture is worth 1 point. Once you post your pictures, that’s it: you’re done.

  5. OK, I give in. Most of those don’t even exist in my country. And it’s nearly bedtime. And I have, like, a job :) But I think I can manage number 50 right now…

  6. God, I hate being in a different time zone sometimes :) So, will any market in Asia qualify? Of does it have to be an ethnically Asian market?

  7. Holy crap, Amateur Gourmet. Good job on the first elimination. I will have to eliminate myself right now. As much as I want to participate, like Chris, I have a job, AND have to cook for both a going away party and a birthday this weekend. “sniff”

  8. Oh dear. Sounds fantastic, but a few things have me going “eh??”. Just what exactly is a “heirloom” tomato. Something passed down from one’s grandmother in her will???

    Afraid I’ll just have to feel my competitive thrills from watching us Aussies win more Olympic medals. For a country with such a small population, we’re doing pretty darn well!

  9. Oh man. I’m on Pacific Standard Time, even if I did have a digital camera, I’d have to post for twenty points by 8:59 PM. That’s not fair.

    But I’ll stop whining. I’m already eliminated. :-(

  10. I’m in India. We don’t even have starbucks, or even a drive-in in this city. So, I guess I am out! Maybe you could do a survivor only for people staying outside the USA? This season I’m just watching from afar!

  11. Halfway around the world, and holding a job, so have cleary been eliminated while snoozing away…

    Wendy – your photos are great! I thought of a durian too when I saw that the first item was a horny melon

  12. Way impressive to everyone else too! I’m not playing favorites. (Love the Starbucks employees flicking the bird.) And those around the world, you can still be in the game… creativity counts too. To quote Peter Gabriel: “Don’t give up.”

  13. Crap. Between an evening class last night, a nasty medical exam today, and my husband at a meeting tonight, I have to take myself out of the running.

  14. I’m not playing this time so I’ll be a cheerleader: Don’t give up yet! He’s looking for 9 – there’s still time.

    Those of you posting pictures of drivers licenses might want to blur the person’s address.

  15. Okay… I made an attempt with the time I had. I had a wonderful time doing it…my boyfriend now thinks I am a spastic…Thanks!!

  16. Hey I’m eliminating myself! I have a fussy baby and all my batteries are shot! Great pics guys! Good luck!!

  17. Damn! I’m out! But I’m loving the pictures that have been posted so far. Keep ’em coming!

  18. Hey Wendy –

    Is that the Starbucks at Yonge and..King-ish area? It looks familiar, and the guy kind of does too, heh.

  19. Nope! Indigo in the Eaton Centre. I told them I’d recommed their location cause they were so nice. So, hint hint ;)

  20. Due to Adam’s encouraging use of Peter Gabriel’s moving song “Don’t give up,” I decided to throw my hat into the ring.

    It ain’t easy doing this in a foreign country! No Starbucks, Cops don’t eat donuts, No Batali and kids never used sitcom lunchboxes. Oh and no chance of coming across an Alice B. Toklas cookbook. I think I did pretty damn good. Thanks to the wife – my choreographer, photographer and motivator!

    Game on! Yatzhee!


  21. Hey, guys? I just noticed that a couple of my phone pics didn’t upload quite right. Would it be considered cheating if I tried to get up a better copy of the same file? (Clearly marked “DUPE” in the caption, of course.)

  22. Hey, people are being eliminated on attributes that have nothing to do with food saviness. First of all, I don’t have a digital camera, and my friends who do have them are on vacation. So anyone who’s not well-endowed is automatically eliminated.

    Second, you said the challenge would be due Sunday. I didn’t think about coming to this site just 24 hours after the signup…I practically have two jobs and while I like this site a lot, I can’t come THAT often. So, the contest is slanted towards people who can check this site religiously.

    Third, the time zone thing. West coasters have only until 9 PM to post. Let’s say a west coaster gets home at 6:00, finishes dinner at 7:00. That only leaves them with two hours to scramble and make the deadline.

    I’m all for Survivor, but I don’t think the criteria by which you’re choosing the finalists is accurate.

  23. Harry, you’re pictures are hilarious. I especially loved the clotheslining the beet one =). Nice job.

  24. And let me add, that this was not easy in a foreign country. For one thing, the Starbucks employees reacted with complete and utter horror when I suggested that they flip me off and pretty much kicked me out of the store. For another, no milk trucks. I could go on, but I have class. Anyway, it was fun, but I think Adam should give us foreigners a few extra points–after all, it’s a LOT harder being abroad.

  25. Agh, I didn’t know we couldn’t add photos. Oh well. :( Good luck to the rest of you though, some interesting photos there! :)

  26. These pictures are priceless! Great job everybody. And bravo to Harry and Catherine, creativity should certainly give you two some extra points!!!

  27. Hey everyone, great work so far! I’m having trouble viewing the pics on Snapfish. I can view Andriha’s for some reason, but neither of the two Amandas. Can everyone in the future use flickr? And Amandas, would it be a lot of work to move the pics? Or at least help me figure out why I can’t view them? Thanks!


  28. What a fun competition! This “spec-tater” is “root”-ing for Harry, but a box of Kudos goes to Wendy. Great job everybody!

  29. I’ve pulled out. :( My work did me in. However, the pictures are amazingly, side-splittingly funny.

    Harry’s pics are commendable. I nearly burst my gut laughing at the beet abuse.

  30. Excellent work, Wendy! Love the shot of the Tim Horton’s copper!

    (I’m a fellow Torontonian!)

  31. hmm….i’m having no problems when I paste that link into both Explorer or Safari. Is anyone else having problems seeing my pics? I guess I’ll try to put them on flickr.

  32. AG,

    It worked fine for me too but I sent an invitation to view my album to your email address through Snapfish. Let me know if that doesn’t work either.

  33. The way I got my Snapfish album to work was by giving myself an invitation to view the album, and posting the URL from that email. Hope that helps!

  34. Dear AG, Friends, Romans, Countrypeople:

    Like many other interested parties, the DesertRose is self-employed. I thought the Challenge would consist of whipping up some fanciful treat in one’s kitchen, something easily done after a long, hard day’s work. So, given the time needed to qualify, I must drop out of the running to be selected for the Challenge. I’m so very disappointed.

    A few comments: pictures are great and I admire all who could devote the time to getting them all done. I do not think going to the nearest William’s Sonoma and Whole Foods to take all the pictures is what the AG had in mind. Some of us actually own mandolines, have tofu in the fridge and, like me, have a well-worn copy of the Alice B. Toklas Cookbook in the kitchen. (Am I the only one? Shall I post the photo just for grins since no one else has?) I hope the AG takes these kinds of things into consideration.

    In the meantime – GO HARRY!!!! ( and GO RUPERT!!)

  35. A note: I hope the Williams Sonoma comment wasn’t aimed at moi, cause I mention in a pic that I am there. I admit, yes, I took 2 pictures there, but I did however spend 4 hours after work traipsing around Toronto on a bike to scavenge my way through the contest! Thanks for listening and I love everyone’s entries :)

  36. Wendy: I love your pics, no offense aimed at anyone in particular. I’m happy to see parts of T.O. again because I used to live there. I miss Chinatown and Kensington Market and the ability to have ethnic food delivered in. Go Survivors!

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