March 12, 2007
Springtime for Kugel
Unlike last year's controversy-marred Kugel-off, there was a clear winner in this year's competition. Entering their first Shmooze cooking competition, the culinary tandem of Brad Stulberg and Michael Passman smoked the competition with a Passman family noddle kugel which had a great consistency and a sweet aftertaste that connected the generations.
Its heritage can be traced from 516 Walnut (their home kitchen), to Village Corner (where some ingredients were purchased) to Farmington Hills (their hometown) to Eastern Europe (where Michael believes the recipe originated). And from this centuries-long chain of events, the deliciousness found its way to the stomachs of the 40+ Shmoozeniks in attendance at the Second Annual Malka and Elimelech Kugeloff Kugel-off.
While some might contend that Stulberg spent most of the event lobbying for votes for his kugel, the author of this post can attest that lobbying for extra votes does not translate to a kugel championship. There is actually something to making a good kugel that the masses enjoy.
The story of the afternoon might have been Naomi's "You say potato, I say kugel" kugel, which finished in second place. For a specialty kugel like a potato kugel to capture the hearts and tastebuds of kugel samplers like the Ohio native's creation is really a testament to how good her kugel was. (On behalf of the Shmooze Club, I would like to thank Naomi and the rest of her housemates for hosting this year's competition).
One of Naomi's housemates, Pamela, came in second with a cheese kugel she named "Deliciousness." Many people in attendance described her work as a springtime kugel, which matched the sunny and above-freezing temperatures outside.
A few other storylines to follow from the afternoon:
- We now have an official trophy for the competition. After purchasing two bundt pans at Meijer on Thursday night, I returned home to realize that there was a third bundt pan in the batch that neither I nor the cashier noticed. I could return it or turn it into the trophy. I plan on painting it gold and inscribing the name of all kugel-off champions.
- Neither of last year's champions (Ian or the Jacabsons) turned in championship-worthey creations.
- Also competing in the event for the second-straight year was Ian's brother Avery. He took home the artistic award for his patterned work on the Walter "Sweetness" Payton kugel. He also concocted a noodle kugel.
- Another surprise of the competition was Ian's "A Zitzen" kugel (kosher for passover kugel). Some even said that this kugel would have doen very well at last year's Erasing Stererotypes Passover Dessert Competition.
- I would like to acknowledge the presence of a couple of Shmooze alumni in attendance this weekend. Programming director emeritus Aaron and meatloaf-kugel maker Adam were in attendance.
Here are the official results from this year's event:
1. Ekhad Khamesh Shesh: Ha-kugel (Hebrew: 516: The Kugel) noodle - Brad and Michael
2. "You Say Potato, I say kugel" Kugel - Naomi
3. "Deliciousness" Kugel (cheese) - Pamela
4. Walter "Sweetness" Payton Kugel - Avery
4. Ima's Kugel - Shira
4. Zuchugel - Frayda
7. A Zitsen Kugel - Ian
7. Saucy Kugel - Avery
9. Vegetable Surprise Kugel - Naomi
10. The Joker
10. What's Made Ian Bitter Kugel
12. Aloha Kugel
13. Comfort Kugel
14. Kugel of Gold (Yerushalmi Kugel)*
Note to self: Next time you want to enter a Jerusalem kugel in a competition, don't overcook it.
Posted by irobi at March 12, 2007 03:24 PM