The Blue Food Parade (Contest Entries)


Gather around, ladies and gentlemen, and prepare to behold a freakish parade of blue foods from around the world. Contestants were asked to create appetizing dishes that incorporate the theme “blue food.” Guest judge Michael Ruhlman says his main criteria is, “Does it look like you want to eat it?” The winner gets two tickets to Blue Man Group on a date of his or her choosing.

So click ahead to see the entries. Declare your favorites in the comments and perhaps they’ll influence Michael’s vote the way that Simon Cowell influences America’s vote on American Idol. On We Go!

[These entries are posted in the order they were received.]

1. The first entry is from Glenna of A Fridge Full of Food who took a very scientific approach to the task. She explains in her blue food post that since weight-loss is a recent goal, she’d make her foods purposely unappetizing to make herself eat less. I think she did a good job:


Those are strawberry muffins with a blue glaze and (barf, excuse me) blue deviled eggs. In her defense, I think she misunderstood the point of the contest: to make blue food appetizing. But it makes for an amusing post and a fun way to start our parade.

2. Vanessa of Vanessa’s Recipes offers up Vanessa’s Lake: Soup of Asparagus, Artichoke and Leek. The soup looked lovely…


But for the contest she needed to add blue, so she used an article she read about garlic turning blue to color the lake:


As she writes, “Doesn’t it look frighteningly like Smurf-Berry Crunch? It’s practically the color of chewed cardboard. Not that I’ve ever chewed cardboard, though I had a gerbil once that was quite fond of it.”

3. Brilynn of Jumbo Empanadas gets a bit cocky about her blue food and writes, “After seeing my blue concoctions, I don’t know how you could argue that blue isn’t appetizing.” She offers up blue oatmeal with candied nuts:


A blue martini:


And blueberry pie:


Brilynn concludes, “The ancient Egyptians used lapis lazuli to represent heaven, and I’m with them. As far as I’m concerned blue is wonderful in every possible way, be it in your food or otherwise.”

4. A question is raised by Rachel R., who e-mailed me a query: “Is this blue enough?” and sent me a link to her blueberry key lime sherbet:


What do you think, hungry masses? Is it blue enough?

5. Jami Moss of The Newlyfeds went blue CRAZY and made so much blue food that her most recent post on her blog is, “Blue Hangover.” She made a blue martini (recipe on her blog):


Blue cornbread (made with blue cornmeal; she promises it’s blue on the inside):


Buffalo Steak Salad with Blue Cheese:


And, finally, a blue velvet cake:


Explains Jami, “Belatedly, I realize that the entire point of the Amateur Gourmet’s Blue Food Contest is to make blue food look “appetizing,” not necessarily chronicle the efforts of a slightly off-balance person to produce blue food without blue food coloring. Nevertheless, the hotly pursued Blue Velvet Cake, while not aesthetically stunning or really even that blue, was actually . . . good.”

6. A straight-forward entry from Andrea Lynn of Madison & Mayberry: “Tilapia battered in crushed blue corn chips and polenta with a blue cheese sauce. (and there’s bok choy with garlic-chili sauce except it’s not blue.)”


7. Beth F. of Hold The Raisins submits blue pizza!




She made blue pizza dough from “Jeffrey Steingarten’s recipe (with a few modifications)” and topped it with “tomato sauce, mozzarella, gorgonzola and bacon.”

Concludes Beth, “I’m not 100% confident that my blue pizza LOOKED delicious, but it smelled and tasted fantastic. (Then again, my shoes would probably taste great with that much gorgonzola and bacon.) I ate the entire thing, so I consider it a success.”

8. The final entry is from Rebecca Lando of Bringing Down The Cool. In a meal she calls “Deep Blue Sea,” Rebecca presents four dishes on one lovely plate:


(Clockwise, from bottom left)

– Blue Fin tuna in a blue potato and sesame crust;

– Blue corn and gorgonzola polenta with caramelized onions on arugula;

– Blueberry-mango upside down Southern skillet cobbler;

– Blue corn crusted blue crabcakes with a spicy buttermilk blue cheese

dipping sauce

And in close-up:


Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry to this contest: they’re all entertaining, and some more enticing than others. But that was the point, wasn’t it? Michael Ruhlman’s judgment to follow at his earliest convenience. In the meantime, do your own judging below.

34 thoughts on “The Blue Food Parade (Contest Entries)”

  1. The blue martini is pure art – gotta be the winner. I also love the blue garlic on top of the soup – it’s actually pretty appealing.

    The rest of the food porn looks amazingly similar to those badly developed pictures of tapas, paella, meze, and other “local” treats you find pasted in the windows of really, really bad restaurants in Spain, Turkey, Greece, etc.

  2. I think this proves that Mother Nature knew exactly what she was doing when she skipped that section of the color spectrum in the edibles department. Except, now that I think about it, it didn’t work for those poor blue crabs. TASTY (even though the meat isn’t blue).

  3. my vote has to go to Andrea. it’s the only dish that actually LOOKS blue (on the outside, anyway) that i’m tempted to eat.

  4. Vanessa Lake is the only food item that looks completely appetizing to me, is creatively and thoughtfully executed (and beautifully presented in it’s blue bowl!) and which accomplished a true blue hue without the aid of food dye. I vote for the soup!

  5. i vote for vanessa’s soup. when its cold outside, and you are feeling blue, (please forgive the pun) nothing makes you feel better than a warm bowl of delicious homemade soup… and the blue garlic on top is genius.

  6. Obviously I have to vote for myself – the blue garlic soup.

    The garlic turns blue from a completely natural reaction that happens with garlic & onion enzymes under certain conditions. The blue garlic can be consumed without worry that you’ll die young from synthetic food additive scariness. It’s pretty neat food science if you ask me… but not very useful unless you’re entering a blue food contest. Cool but random.

  7. Well, obviously I’ve gotta vote for myself (Rebecca). To everyone who said the food doesn’t look appetizing, all I can say is that everything we made was actually delicious.

    But good job to everyone – the entries look pretty good to me!

  8. Most of the entries looked pretty wretched to me, so I’m voting for Brilynn’s blue martini. Guaranteed to brighten the disposition. The blue oatmeal with the comlementary-colored candied nuts was actually quite pretty, from an artistic point of view, but not too sure how it would taste. Final verdict? Pass me another blue martini!

  9. Okay–now I (Jami) have to vote for myself too. Just because I made all my dishes in 3 hours with only a blueberry martini to help.

    But I was really impressed, actually, with everyone else! And I’m suprised no one has commended the tasty-looking and very creative “Deep Blue Sea.”

  10. I would have to go for the soup with blue garlic… original, creative, naturally blue and appetizing!

    The martini is not original at all… has been done in bars all over the US!

  11. That blue velvet cake does look delicious, but the last entry looks quite good, as well. It’s a tough call. Some of the others don’t look so shabby, either.

  12. I would have to go for the soup with blue garlic… original, creative, naturally blue and appetizing!

    The martini is not original at all… has been done in bars all over the US!

  13. i like banessa’s blue soup because garlic is delicious and the other dishes don’t look terribly appetizing..

    some food turns blue if you keep it for a long time. mold is pretty.

  14. I go whole hog on a vote for the ambitious dishes of Rebecca. Not a blue note among them…they all look and sound dangerously good. Kudos, Rebecca!!!

  15. Gotta go with Rebecca’s. It incorporates naturally blue food in some uncommon dishes. And a blue plate too!

  16. Damn, blue food is nasty looking. I think the garlic soup is the most appetizing of the dishes that actually look blue, plus it looks so damn cool. The blue pizza would have worked had it not looked like something made with PlayDough

  17. Wow… I never really realized how completely gross blue food was until I was presented with this fine example of the depth of choices in blue cuisine.

    That being said… I gotta go with Rebecca too– for originality, use of actual blue ingredients, and also for the fact that (although they kinda look gross) they SOUND delicious.

  18. Another vote for Vanessa. I think the soup is pretty…and I’ll bet it tastes good with the extra garlic.

  19. I’d just like to note for the record that the second blue martini recipe is actually a *blueberry* martini, made with pureed blueberries, lemon juice, and triple sec.

    But even I have to confess that Brilynn’s is much prettier.

  20. The only thing that looks remotely appetizing to me –among the truly blue foods — is the martini. Despite the admirable efforts put in by all the contestants, I wouldn’t want to find any of the other blue foods on my plate.

  21. I thought that Rebecca Lando’s dishes were very creative. They seemed like a wonderful meal rather than some cute gimicky party favor with food coloring.

  22. dorkiestoldguy

    “Mood Indigo”….

    Well, this whole contest lifted my spirits (blue martini), so I no longer have the blues! But seriously, I asked myself which of these dishes would best accompany a good blues album, and the variety of dishes crafted by Rebecca Lando would make a tasty meal to go with a double album of some vintage blues.

  23. I have to say that based on originality, use of naturally blue-ish ingredients, and palate appeal Rebecca’s dishes best adhered to the spirit of the challenge. Though all the other dishes were great ideas!

  24. For all the reasons above, Rebecca gets my vote for the blue ribbon.

    That said, LOVE the blueberry pie!! How ’bout some love for the blueberry pie? Blueberries are Superfood! And soooo yummy . . .

  25. My vote is # 8, Bringing down the Cool. It looks the most professionally done and the most delicious. The presentation was pretty nice too.

  26. Chiming in way late here (the winner has already been announced!) but Brilynn’s blue oatmeal looks gorgeous. I notice that most traditionally blue food does indeed look more purple than blue, like the blue corn and blueberries.

  27. I’m making nibbles (‘amuse bouche’)for the ‘vin de honnour’ of a friends party.Colour scheme being SKY BLUE and CHOCOLATE BROWN.Probably I’ll drop the idea,CANNOT see the French eating blue food colouring!but blue carnations in chocolate dipped vases might work-especially if the weather doesn’t improve. cheers lis

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