Friday, August 24, 2012

What is the Atlanta Chicken Experiment?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 4:11 PM

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Once upon a time there were two guys who liked to cook. They were pretty good at it and really competitive, which makes sense because both guys were serial cook-off competitors. They were not friends. In fact, they were epic rivals in constant competition. But in the name of "GLORIA CULINARIUS" i.e. culinary glory, New York City cook-off kings Nick Suarez and (Emory alum) Theo Peck joined forces to create the the Food Experiments cook-off tour:
The Experiments are a series of cooking competitions that challenge amateur chefs to create around 300 samples of a dish featuring an “experimental” ingredient or theme. Over twenty Experiments have taken place involving beer, cheese, chocolate, tacos, brunch, Brooklyn roots, holiday and booze themes.

Peck, who now sits on the other side of the judging table, values a competition where everyone has a fair shot at winning. But he thinks the most valuable part of the Experiments is the resulting sense of community. "For some people, it is not about winning. It is about finding a room full of like minded people who love food and more importantly, love to eat!" Peck says. "We usually leave a close knit community in our wake."

Next month, with the help of Brooklyn Brewery, Suarez and Peck will bring their cook-off community to our neck of the woods.

More after the jump

The Atlanta Chicken Experiment is goin' down on Sept. 23. at the Masquerade, and you guessed it, this year's theme is chicken. "As a former resident in Atlanta, pre-olympic even, I remember having awesome chicken all the time," says Peck. "Do you remember Deacon Burt's? I dream of having breakfast there, one last time. Plus, the theme is open ended enough to allow the chefs room to have fun. We dare someone to make a chicken dessert. Fried Chicken Cupcakes Anyone?"

Entries will be evaluated by an esteemed judging panel: chefs Kevin Gillespie (Woodfire Grill) and Asha Gomez (Cardamom Hill), BobTownsend (AJC), and Jennifer Zyman (The Blissful Glutton). Attendees will also vote on which 'cheftestants' make off with the goods: cookware, bakeware, and cash prizes. The grand prize winner — in addition to eternal bragging rights — will be flown to Brooklyn to compete at the Food Experiments’ 2012 National Championships on Dec. 16.

Are you a badass in the kitchen? Are you the Will Hunting of competitive cookery? If so, your moment in the sun might be just around the corner. ENTER HERE if you think you're (wo)man enough. However, if eating is more your thing, tickets cost a cool $10 and get you a taste of all the dishes at the party. A portion of the proceeds will go towards charities that promote sustainability and local culinary education for disadvantaged children and teens. Stay tuned, because we'll be giving some tickets leading up to the main event.

"We have all kinds of people enter our competition," says Peck. "They come from all walks of life with a shared passion for food. They are also people who want to share their passion with others while having a good time."

Check out the 2011 Food Experiments national championship video:

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