The 2012 Foodie Photo Scavenger Hunt (Sponsored By The Culinary Institute of America) Starts Now

On your marks…get set….

Ok, wait! Before you get started scavenger hunting, I need to tell you a few things about the 2012 Foodie Photo Scavenger Hunt. First: choose your partner wisely. Not only will you be spending all weekend with them; if you win, you’ll be cooking together for four days at the CIA. This is not a time to collaborate with a frienemy! Second: please read the rules carefully. I’d hate for you to spend all weekend scavenger hunting only to find that because you ignored a potentially crucial rule you’re disqualified. Then I’d be your frienemy and it’ll be so awkward if we run into each other out at dinner. Ok?

So let’s talk about the rules.


The scavenger hunt begins when this post is posted… which is to say: RIGHT NOW.

To participate, print out the list of scavenger hunt items and begin your search. You’ll need the following equipment: a camera.

For each item listed, you and/or your partner will need to be photographed with said item. If no person’s in the picture*, the picture doesn’t count (otherwise: how do I know you didn’t just do a Google image search?). To make this easier for me, please take a picture of you and your partner first and include that in your scavenger hunt photo gallery so I can know who I’m looking for in each picture.

[* If you want to show something in a sequence, or need to do a close-up of something (like a chef’s food tattoo, for example) just make sure you’re in one of the sequence of pictures; no need to be in every sequence picture.]

When you’ve completed the hunt—and you have until midnight E.S.T. on Sunday—you’ll need to upload your pictures to Flickr to create a gallery. Please label your pictures on Flickr with the name of the item from the list so I know which item it is and how many points it was worth.
When you’re done with that, tally up your score and e-mail me––with a link to your Flickr gallery, your names, and your total score. I’ll post the results—and the winners—on Monday afternoon.


As mentioned, the CIA is generously offering the winning team a Four-Day Culinary Boot Camp at one of their three campuses (in either New York, Texas or California). You’ll have to get yourself there and find lodging, but the instruction and meals—valued at over $3500—are all included.

The 2nd and 3rd place teams will receive books and/or DVDs at the discretion of the CIA (trust me, whatever they are, they’ll be good!).


I’m creating a Twitter hashtag–#foodiephotohunt–which I’ll be tracking all weekend. Tweet updates from your hunt as you go so you can see where other people are at; maybe you’ll run into another team in your city! In fact, if you do and you take a picture with them that’s worth an extra 15 points.

So that’s all for the rules!

And now for the list… happy hunting.


1. A Mr. T Lunchbox (10 points)

2. An entire wheel of Parmesan cheese (10 points)

3. One Balsamic vinegar picture (choose one; need to show the # in the photo)
a. 5 year aged Balsamic vinegar (5 points)
b. 10 year aged Balsamic vinegar (10 points)
c. 30 year aged Balsamic (15 points)
d. 50 year aged (20 points)
e. 100 year aged (30 points)

4. With an Olive Garden host or hostess with a “Hello My Name Is…Marilyn Hagerty” tag on your shirt (15 points)

A photo with the actual Marilyn Hagerty (30 points)

5. Taking a bite out of a stick of butter while holding a Paula Deen cookbook (15 points)
While wearing a t-shirt for a Diabetes walk (extra 10 points)

6. A geoduck (15 points)

7. A paella pan (5 points)
With actual paella in it (a bonus 15 points)

8. Picking citrus off a tree (10 points)

9. Milking a cow (25 points)

10. Huitlacoche (15 points)

11. Dressed like Guy Fieri (shorts, spiked hair, sunglasses) standing next to a yellow Lamborghini (20 points)

12. With a jar of Hellman’s mayonnaise AND a jar of Best Foods mayonnaise together (this’ll be hard because one’s east coast, one’s west coast) (25 points)

13. Eating a foot long hot dog (15 points)

14. The detached head of an animal at the butcher’s (15 points)

15. Pomegranate molasses (5 points)
Date molasses (10 points)

16. A Mario Batali bobblehead (20 points)
Holding it while wearing orange Crocs (bonus 10 points)

17. Pulling pizza out of a pizza oven with a pizza peel (15 points)

18. Holding all five volumes of Modernist Cuisine over your head (20 points)

19. With 10 whole yellow onions (5 points)

With all those onions, peeled and sliced (10 more points)

All those onions in a large pot with olive oil and butter, being cooked down on low heat (5 more points)

Those onions one hour later—they should be dark brown (10 more points)

Used in a dish (soup, an omelet, etc.) (10 final points)

20. Pequin chiles (10 points)

21. Icing a cupcake (10 points)

22. Dressed as Dracula holding a box of Count Chocula (10 points)

In a grocery store with a stranger looking on (10 extra points)

23. A pasta extruder extruding pasta (15 points) Note: this is different than a pasta maker.

24. Pressing a tortilla (15 points)

25. Wearing a t-shirt that says “Top Chef” (5 points)

While standing next to someone who was a contestant on any season of any version of “Top Chef” (bonus 20 points)

26. Xanthan gum (10 points)

27. With a chef showing off his or her food-related tattoo (5 points)

With a chef GETTING a food-related tattoo (25 points)

28. Bottarga (10 points)

29. Wearing one of those naked people aprons that make you look naked (10 points)

30. With latte art (some kind of milk design in your latte) (10 points)

31. At a farmer’s market (10 points)

With a farmer (bonus 5 points)

32. Aleppo pepper (10 points)

33. At a composting center (10 points)

34. Getting a Starbucks barista to pour iced coffee into a Dunkin’ Donuts cup (or vice-versa) (blur out their face so they don’t get fired!) (20 points)

35. Brûléeing the top of a Crème brûlée (15 points)

Additional CIA-related bonus point opportunities:

36. Wearing the jacket of a CIA alumnus (5 points)

37. Holding a bottle of Greystone cellars wine in one hand, a grey stone in the other (5 points)

38. Next to a TV airing the cooking show of a CIA alumnus (the alumnus must be visible) (5 points)

39. With a CIA cookbook (5 points)

40. With a dish that you cook from any CIA cookbook; showing the finished dish and the photo from the book (note: this needs to be different than the onion dish above) (10 points)

41. In front of the restaurant of a CIA alumnus (5 points)

42. With the alumnus in front of the restaurant holding their CIA diploma (5 points)

43. In the kitchen of the alumnus’s restaurant (5 points)

44. Holding a sign displaying the number of CIA graduations in 2011 (5 points)

45. Holding a map of the city where the CIA was founded (5 points)

Good luck, everybody! And don’t forget to use the hashtag #foodiephotohunt to have your questions answered and to win those bonus 15 points by finding another team.

Most importantly, though: have fun.

Let's dish!

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