There are many reasons to cook: Love and Hunger are chief among them. But another key motivator in whipping up a great dish is Competition.
Last week I judged an Iron Chef Cook-Off in Madison, which was lots of fun. The contestants were broken into eight teams. They were challenged to cook the best creations from either bacon, avocados, cheese or berries. One of the bacon teams (pictured here) won. I think it was their team cooking spirit that put them over the edge. They cured and smoked their own bacon at their houses, and then made the most delectable BLT quiches, Pulled Pork with Bacon served as sliders with homemade rolls and homemade sauerkraut, Bacon Terrine, and even the strange but delicious Bacon Caramel Squares.
Afterwards, they told me how the three people had come together to support each other on various tasks: One person was very good at presentation, someone else was the bacon process guru, someone had the best kitchen, and so on. Two of the three had never known each other before, and now they’ve decided to split a whole-hog order together. That’s friendship, which is intensified not only by cooking together, but cooking to win.