Attention, all lovers of great cuisine!  We are thrilled to report that Priority’s Week Nine Cook-Off reached new heights of culinary creativity! Textures, flavours and presentation merged to indulge the Priority crew with a gastronomic fiesta.

Sad to say, there were two withdrawals; both Bryan and Joseph were unwell over the weekend and unable to step up to the mark.  (They were, however, well enough to show up and eat…..)

Having said that, it’s hard to imagine that any concoction from Bryan could have won more points than William’s stunning Sambal with Egg and Prawn, matched with brown rice. There were several unkind whispers that perhaps William might have had a little help in the kitchen; he swore wide-eyed innocence of all charges and ultimately the diners agreed that the provenance of the dish was less important than its rich, spicy flavor, enhanced with ikan bilis.  A true South East Asian classic, prepared with skill and love.  The result was a walk-over, moving William’s record to 2-1.

Textures, flavours and presentation merged to indulge the Priority crew with a gastronomic fiesta.

Nolan, whose contributions are always eagerly awaited, once more came up with a superbly prepared Singaporean special. Mee Goreng with Prawns sounds like an everyday dish, but Nolan always adds a touch of magic.  The Priority diners lapped it up; the dining room echoing to murmurs of delight.  Surely a winner – but no!  Once again, Amelia added strategic competitive cunning to her baking skills and presented the company with a mouth-watering dessert – a delicious Tarte aux Pommes (Apple Tart for those unfortunates who can’t speak French).  Amelia told us that the Tarte was in honour of Azerbaijan – not the country but her departed cat, the love of Amelia’s life.  It’s a little hard to figure the connection between an ex-feline and a dish that featured crunchy caramelized apple slices over a melt-in-the-mouth pastry base, but ours was not to reason why – ours was to go back for seconds and thirds, scrape the platter clean and vote Amelia the winner by a narrow margin!  Amelia now moves up the table with a 3-1 win-loss record; Nolan drops back a little with a 2-2 record.

Kairavi also benefitted from a walk-over, due to Joseph’s indisposition.  Missing this battle was a real disappointment, since Joseph has been one of our most original chefs, while Kairavi always offers exotic and healthy selections from her vast range of vegetarian recipes.  Today’s choice was the delightfully named Rajasthani Rajma – a staple curry made of Red Kidney Beans in a thick spicy tomato-based sauce with lots of whole spices,  usually served with Chapatti or Rice.  What makes the dish so intriguing is that Red Kidney Beans are not native to India. This dish developed after the Beans were brought to the Indian Subcontinent from Central Mexico and Guatemala.  The resulting flavour is like a mixture of Indian and Mexican – wonderful!  Kairavi’s walk-over lifts her up the league table with a 2-2 record.

Our final gastronomic grapple featured Joy against Gerlynn; Joy stuck with another tried and tested Chinese favourite – sautéed beef with broccoli. This was warmly received and much enjoyed, but Joy found herself up against possibly the most inventive and definitely the most beautifully presented dish of the whole competition so far – we all gasped in amazement as Gerlynn brought in a tray of individual bowls of Japanese tofu salad!  The freshness of the silky soft tofu – very different in texture from its Chinese cousin – was enhanced with strips of crab meat and contrasted with the musky flavor of century egg! An absolute triumph of design, preparation and presentation.  Congratulations to Gerlynn, who moves to second place in the table and is now favourite to win the Best Individual Dish prize at the end of the season.

So Week Nine gave us Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Singaporean and French dishes – how can the Priority chefs top this performance?

We think they will – watch this space!!