THE COOKING CONTEST
“Chef Janelle, from Chez Frou-Frou, lovely to have you in the competition. Chef Jorge comes to us from his avant-garde restaurant Skid Marks. And finally, in a great, pleasant surprise, Chef Timothy from the renowned café Mystery Meat! We’re pleased to see you, sir. Rumors of your untimely death were greatly exaggerated, it seems, and we’re all of us glad of it.”
The panel of judges could be heard whispering in the background. “Is he a bit – pale? He seems pale to me.”
“On to the contest! You know the rules! You each have the same list of ingredients with which to create your dishes based upon the theme we give you. Our panel of judges will rate your creations based on imagination, presentation and, of course, taste. Perhaps the most challenging ingredient in today’s contest: Brains!”
All three contestants groaned. Though perhaps Chef Timothy groaned longest.
“Your theme is: Checkers! Let your imaginations run wild. Ready? Set? COOK!”
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“AND we’re back! In a contest first, we’ve had not one, but TWO of our contestants drop out of the competition without a word. Our thanks to Chef Timothy for staying the course and to our staff chef for stepping in at the last minute to give Chef Timothy a run for his money. Judges ready for the unveiling of the dishes? Voila!”
“Our staff chef has given us lightly scrambled eggs and beef brains garnished with a clever checkered pattern of sour cream and chives. Well done, Trish!”
The panel of three judges each tasted the dish before moving on to sample Chef Timothy’s offering. General exclamations of delight followed from all three judges.
“Chef Timothy! Step forward, please!”
He shambled two steps toward the judging table. All three judges traded concerned glances. Chef Timothy’s pallor had taken on a distinctly blue tinge.
“Chef Timothy, this is a fabulous presentation of light and dark meats arranged in a checker board pattern topped with a mélange of brains sautéed in butter, white wine, and capers. It is excellent, sir! Excellent. Tell us what we’re eating?”
“Well, yes, sir. Can you be more specific?”
After a moment’s silence, Chef Timothy grinned a bloody toothed grin. “Janelle and Jorge braaains.”