Whose Cuisine Reigns Supreme?

An “Iron Chef”-style throwdown heats up Rehoboth (and Home Skillet) this weekend.

    Welcome to Home Skillet, a dining blog that encourages dogs to drink responsibly and to never drive under the influence of alcohol. Much happening this weekend:

    Saturday, February 21: Back in college, I fell hard for “Iron Chef,” the insane Japanese cooking show that featured a rotation of gourmet “Iron” chefs taking on challengers in a one-hour cook off. There were exotic secret ingredients, flashy uniforms and hilariously translated commentary—it was an amazing spectacle.
    So, imagine my giddiness when Kathleen Leebel from Concierge By the Sea called last week to say our own Rehoboth Beach will put on its version of Iron Chef. The inaugural “Chef Showdown: Rehoboth” goes down this Saturday, courtesy of Concierge By the Sea and Rehoboth Main Street.
    Now, there are two awesome wrinkles to the competition.
    Awesome Wrinkle No. 1: The event ties into Rehoboth’s Mari Gras weekend celebration, so there will be a strong New Orleans theme to the whole thing. Expect beads, gumbo and oysters in addition to whatever Cajun-Creole goodies the competitors cook up.
    Awesome Wrinkle No. 2: Oh, the competitors? They’re just some of the best chefs in the mid-Atlantic region, is all. Jay Caputo (who owns Espuma and Porcini House), Ian Crandall (Kindle, Striper Bites) and Kevin Reading (Nage) will duke it out head-to-head-to-head for 75 minutes, preparing dishes on the fly and try to win favor with the judges.
    OK, Secretly Awesome Wrinkle No. 3: I’m, gulp, judging the competition, along with Trish Vernon from the Cape Gazette. Just what in heck am I going to tell these illustrious chefs about their food? Who knows, man.
    Everthing happens Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center on Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth Beach.Tickets are $25 and benefits Rehoboth Beach Main Street, CAMP Rehoboth and Center for the Inland Bays. Call 302-227-2772 to order your ticket.
    There’s a lot more info about the event, so click here for details.
    Check back next week for pictures and a recap. Allez cuisine!

    Saturday, February 21: Wilmington’s posh dining destination, Deep Blue, will host its Saturday Night Supper Club, oddly enough, this Saturday night.
    For a mere $35, diners get a three-course prix fixe dinner and complimentary champagne. Reserve here.

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    Saturday, February 21: Is your dog a total lush? Then you might want to consider therapy. But first, bring it to the third annual Muttini Mixer. The awesome folks at Delaware Humane Association are holding their popular gala at the Delaware Center for Horticulture Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    A $35 ticket gets access to some heavy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and live auction. Dogs (leashed, please) are welcome, as usual.
    RSVP online at www.dehumane.org or by calling Debbie Armstrong at 571-8171, x301.

    Wednesday, February 25: Ditch the Red Bull and, er, caffeinated jelly beans and head to a special workshop called Eating For Energy Wednesday at the Awakenings Center for Holistic Healing in Wilmington.
    Eating for Energy will illuminate good eating habits that provide improved energy and decreased fatigue. Expert Theresa Piane Taylor is your guide.
The fun begins at 7 p.m. and cost is $15 a head. Awakenings Center For Holistic Healing from 7 p.m. Call 252-5643 or visit www.awakeningscfhh.com for more.

    Previously: I battled a bellyache and had a choco-tastic time judging the Wilmington Chocolate Festival last week. (Tough job, right?)
    Let’s skip the commentary and go straight to the tape. Photos taken by assistant creative director and cake fanatic Louise Bolin.

The place was cupcake city. These beauties were coated in a rich chocolate ganache.

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It was Valentine’s Day weekend, so these fudge bites were topped with candy hearts. How cute.

These mini-chocolate brownie bites were dense and tasty.

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One of the prettiest entries (which I didn’t get to taste, sadly) were these dark chocolate truffles.

Did I mention it was Valentine’s Day? These candies were simply labeled: Seduction. Oh my.

This was interesting–a chocolate cake flavored with chili powder. I’ve seen spices used to kick up gourmet truffles, but never cake. The flavors worked, but it took a couple seconds for my tongue to realize it.

One of the “professional” cake entries.

This cake was topped with those delicious little Pepperidge Farms Pirouette cookies and elicited a Homer Simpson-esque drooling noise from yours truly.

Far and away my favorite cake of the day. Perfect sweetness, ultra whipped topping and it melted in my mouth. I’d wear a tuxedo just to eat some more.

The judges hard at work.

      Special thanks to Neda Green, an official Friend of the Library, who organized the event and was kind enough to invite me. Stay tuned for more Home Skillet action next week and an exciting recap of the Rehoboth Iron Chef throwdown.

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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