Mushroom Madness

Of all the many throwdowns, smackdowns and showdowns I’ve attended and judged (including the one ill-fated smackdown that I organized), this past Monday’s was the best one yet, both in terms of accumulated talent and organization. And although there were some folks in attendance that I could have done without seeing and frankly wish would leave Houston altogether (is that negativity? or just honesty? sometimes it’s hard to tell…), I had a wonderful time.

And although I really enjoyed judging the first Houston Chowhounds throwdown (Monday night’s was the fourth) — which meant all the fried chicken I could possibly eat and then some — the thing I enjoy most about these get-togethers is snapping photos. Hope you enjoy some of my favorites below.

Carlos Rodriguez of Vic & Anthony's may be a jerk, but he plates a mean dish.

The team from Brenner's was like a mad symphony working the line.

Patricia Sharpe of Texas Monthly took photos of all the dishes she judged.

Rebecca Masson, a pastry chef, won the competition with a dessert - even though the main ingredient in the throwdown was mushrooms.

Her sponsor for the night was the TWC -- the Texas Workforce Commission -- as she's currently unemployed (although probably not for long).

Mark Cox's gorgeous mushroom medley took second place.

A rare moment of calm in the kitchen.

Ruthie loved her soup dumpling, down to the last drop.

To read the whole recap of the Mushroom Throwdown, head over to Eating Our Words. There’s a slideshow, too, but until we upgrade our slideshow technology (fingers crossed for March!), I’d rather just throw some of my favorites up here to peruse.

11 responses to “Mushroom Madness

  1. You’re SO talented with a camera!!!!! Beautiful, beautiful photos!

  2. *That’s* Ruthie? Oh man, she is adorable, licking that spoon like a little kid. Don’t think I’ve met her in person yet.

  3. That picture of Ruthie, new engagement ring “gleaming in the moonlighty night,” is wonderful. Great shot of someone who seldom would be caught licking the spoon in public.

  4. Ha, Brad, Ruthie is definitely the type that would lick a spoon in public all the time, that’s why I love her🙂
    BTW that’s honesty not negativity.

  5. I agree, that picture of Ruthie is priceless, and manages to capture both her poise & her complete lack of pretension.🙂

  6. Ahahaha! Well this just made my day/week/year🙂 And, um, there was GOAT CHEESE FONDUE down there, people — A deep dive was pretty much mandatory😉 YUM!

  7. I’m so sad that I missed this particular throw down! Like any good vegetarian, I love a mushroom and these pics simply make me drool! If only I were so talented with a camera…

  8. Upgrading the slideshow: definitely a step forward, unless you use flash.

  9. Thank you for sharing pictures! I wanted to go to this one but had to work.

  10. Im not sure how I missed this entry when you posted it, but I’m here now!

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love your photo of Ruthie. The plate cleaning one is also wonderfully shot– DOF is very nice.

  11. I am amazed and in awe – thanks for the article.

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