What Does A Cadillac Have to Do With Food? The Cadillac Culinary Challenge.

by Courtney on June 20, 2010

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Last week I was honored to be invited to participate and judge in the Cadillac Culinary Challenge in Oakbrook. Hmmm. Cadillac and food? What gives? I asked if my buddy and fellow blogger Marie could come from Proud Italian Cook , and they said of course.Our mission , now that we accepted was to to taste and judge a friendly competition between local Chefs Paul Virant  of Vie and Chef Martial Noguier of Cafe Des Architects sponsored by both Cadillac and Bon Appetit magazine. In addition we got to test drive the 2010 Cadillac SRX, Escalade Platinum Hybrid and CTS Sport Wagon, all against their Lexus and Mercedes competition. Luxury cars and outstanding food. Why not? The correlation between luxury and food (food blogging ) is strong. Many of us, are drawn to the finer things life has to offer and seek to make our surroundings as comfortable and luxurious as possible. To deny we lack or don’t seek affluence and luxury in our lives would be incorrect. Not saying we are affluent, but in our cooking and eating, we seek the best,no matter what our incomes. On my table or or on the road, I want the best. I was pleasantly surprised after testing the cars. My previous perception was that a Cadillac was older and stodgy. I loved the SRX ! Roomy with a panoramic sunroof and the sleekest bells and whistles one could ask for. It was a dream ride and makes me want to consider trading in my Audi , when the time comes. The SRX lacked for nothing.I really need to look more closely at my American made luxury cars now.
Mary Nolan of the Food Networks Chic and Easy was our gracious host. She greeted us at Braxton Seafood Grill with the other media, the Chefs and representatives from Cadillac.  We took shelter from a downpour of rain and dined on the most delicious seafood . Then we went to the tents and the Chefs prepared  delectable dishes using seasonal ingredients. Chef Marital Noguier prepared the most sublime Peekytoe Crab Salad with Strawberry, Rhubarb, Pickled Turnip and Radish. Unusual but it worked, Chef Paul Virant made Almond Crepes, Pan Roasted Strawberries, and Amaretto Sabayon. It was a tough call, but in the end we all unanimously voted for Chef Pauls crepes. To chose between a starter and dessert was difficult and many of us felt guilty because Chef Marital’s crab was really outstanding and daring and he showed us the proper way to cook rhubarb , which many overcook.

I uploaded a few You Tube videos of the event to witness and hear the chefs do what they do best.I apologize for the quality. I had to cut away , when it was my turn to taste and critique.  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Click to see.
You can find the PDF’s of the recipes here.
One more thing! The winner of Jane Green’s Promises to Keep is….
Nina from My Easy Cooking! Enjoy.
Almond Crepes , Pan Roasted Strawberries, and Amaretto Sabayon from Chef Paul Virant of Vie

Peekytoe Crab Salad with Strawberry, Rhubarb, Pickled Turnip and Radish