Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I love the perks.

One of the things I like about working in fine dining restaurants is that you get to try foods, often for free, that you might not otherwise have access to like foie gras, truffles, grains of paradise, etc. If you're willing to spend some of your hard earned cash you can also purchase all kinds of things (quinces, cassis vinegar, etc.) that you'd be hard pressed to find in your local supermarket. They may be available online, but I usually find shipping is prohibitive. For example, I was once a click away from signing Sam up for the Bacon of the Month Club until I noticed that the shipping cost more than the bacon!
This week, I received an unexpected perk from my obsession with food. I have written a few short food related articles for the Isthmus, Madison's free weekly newspaper, and I received an email asking if I'd be a judge at the Big Eat. Now, even without knowing anything else about it, doesn't that sound like fun?
The Big Eat is a benefit put on by the Isthmus to raise money for Family Centers. Local restaurants donate food and people pay to come and sample their wares. I've been to the Big Eat once but tickets are fairly spendy so I was thrilled to get to attend for free (and I got to bring Sam). Here's a picture of only part of my haul:That's Island Wheat beer from Capitol Brewery, part of a chicken burrito from Pasqual's, a cassis truffle from Monona Catering, and a huge serving of ice cream from the Chocolate Shoppe.
There were also tastes from Bandung, Casbah, Curry in the Box, Fyfe's, Java Cat, Marigold, New Orleans Take Out, Pedro's, Quaker Steak and Lube (surprisingly good chicken wings), Starbucks (bad green tea concoctions-just stick with the coffee please!), Willy St. Co-op, Wisconsin Cheesecakery, and Wollershiem Winery. Of course, as a judge, I had to try everything.
Thanks for the invite, Isthmus!


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