Thursday, October 20, 2016

NOSH is a week long event from Oct 17th - 23rd, celebrating Hamilton's culinary scene and small businesses. The event was kicked off at Liuna Station, with a tense battle between 10 Hamilton chefs, each subjected to the most ridiculous ingredients. Just like Chopped, it was their job to make a winning dish for the judges.

Chef's were limited to only about a half hour for each course. Each chef was supplied with the same pantry, but the secret ingredients were only presented seconds before they had to start cooking.

The secret ingredients were...
Appetizer Round: SPAM, Tamarind paste and dessert tofu
Main Round: Hotdog Flavoured Pringles, Hamburger Helper and Lemon Grass
Dessert Round: Lucky Charms, Neon Food Colouring and European pre-made cupcakes

These ingredients were definitely ridiculous, but some how the chefs turned out some amazing dishes. Running joke of the night was that someone was trying to murder the judges with these processed ingredients haha.

Fried Risotto Balls
During the rounds and in between, spectators watched. There wasn't much else to do, and personally I was very disappointed with the lack of food that was going around. The hors d'oeuvres stopped flowing after an hour, and it was nearly a 5 hour event.

For an event that was based around small businesses and food, I would have liked to see more options and more local products. Like, they could have sold Live Kombucha from Guelph or Nickel Brook from Hamilton,  instead of doing a cash bar with commercial drinks. You know?

Not to keep criticizing (please take this as the constructive kind), but I would have liked some more consideration for bloggers like myself. There was really no opportunity for me to take photos of the food. If it wasn't for the judges handing their dishes off to the guests, I wouldn't have been able to take these photos. Lighting was also an issue for my camera, and makes me wonder how the chefs felt working in it.

Shoutout to the chef of Aberdeen Tavern for throwing some of his food towards my direction - he was one of the 3 judges.

But, let's go back to the actual competition. Even though the secret ingredients were bizarre, the end dishes were amazing. Pictured above to your left, is a hamburger helper pasta, with muscles, and a hotdog Pringles crushed scallop. It was seriously delicious - I was impressed.

During the dessert round where you had to use neon food colouring, cupcakes and lucky charms, most of the chefs went towards the fritter/donut route.  I had the pleasure of getting a bite of the dish below, and it was like eating a better version of a Timbit.

Just like Chopped Canada, you started with 10 chefs, then 5, 3 and lastly 1 winner... except 2 Hamilton Chefs won in a tie! Congratulations to Shayne from Pokeh and Mark from Rapscallion!

It was a very fun night though, I got to meet so many foodies, and the networking alone was worth the $15 ticket. However, a few friendly suggestions for next year. More food, more lighting and more access to bloggers like myself. Raising Hamilton culinary talent and food bloggers go hand in hand in my opinion. Great job NOSH, I hope you do it again!

Shayne from Pokeh and Mark from Rapscallion
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