A Culinary Challenge

By Iron Chef Leftovers

Here’s the challenge: cook an omelet. Sounds easy, right?

How about having to prepare a French omelet the same way Jacques Pepin does in a video which you get to screen? Still not too bad.

How about doing it in 7 ½ minutes? Ok, getting a little tougher.

With a culinary scholarship and the opportunity to stage at the best restaurants in the world, Noma, for one month? Pressure…mounting….

On a demonstration stage at the largest food gathering in Latin America, Mesamerica? Starting…to…crack…

With some of the best chefs in the world – Alice Waters, Danny Bowien, Enrique Olvera and Rene Redzepi, and a huge crowd watching you?    Mommy….

That is exactly what happened recently at Mesamerica in Mexico City. Redzepi announced that the 2 winners out of 6 culinary student contestants would win a scholarship and get to stage at Noma in Copenhagen for a month. Only three of the students completed the dish in the allotted time and it was the first time that all 6 of them had ever made an omelet.

Then the amazing part of this whole thing happened:

When Redzepi re-took the stage, he had another announcement: As planned, two students would come stage at Noma. But Waters had offered to take on two more at Chez Panisse. Bowien would bring one to Mission Cantina. And Olvera would bring the last of the six students to his soon-to-open Cosme in New York City. It was a move that surprised even Mesamérica director Sasha Correa, who told Eater that this was not part of the plan.

I applaud the chefs for all dropping a surprise on these poor students who were so stressed out by the entire event that 3 of them were in tears. Celebrity chefs sometimes get a bad reputation for being self-centered asses, but there are times when they remember where they came from and give someone else the chance of a lifetime.

You can read the full recap here on eater.com.

4 comments to A Culinary Challenge

  • A.J. Coltrane

    Mexico City is at altitude as well. Would that make the omelets come out a little flatter?

  • Or lighter, since water boils faster?

  • A.J. Coltrane

    Either way – if the contestants had actually thought of that, it’d only increase the freak out factor.

  • Iron Chef Leftovers

    I would think that they might actually come out fluffier since you have less air pressure deflating the bubbles in it, but I have to consult once of my cook books to figure that out. I can’t remember which way it actually goes. Either way, I am not sure I would want to be trying to make an omelet for the first time under those conditions.

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