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86'd Mystery Ingredient Challenge, Round Two

March 26, 2013

Uchiko hosts local version of popular TV cooking show

This past Saturday marked the second round of 86'd, an invitational cooking competition that provides Austin’s culinary talent the opportunity to showcase their skills and creativity. 86'd is Uchiko's version of the Food Network's popular show, Chopped.

Four contestants are given containers of mystery ingredients and must prepare appetizers, entrées, and desserts in a specified amount of time. Judges evaluate the dishes on taste, presentation, and creativity, then one contestant is eliminated (86’d) in each round. Cooks from some of Austin's finest restaurants are among the contestants. Round Two Contestants:

Vincent Guerra of Komé Austin Brandon Martin of Foreign & Domestic Drew Shriver of Olive & June
Abby Yates of Swift's Attic

Round two was quite different than last month's first
round, with one of the largest variations being the type
of ingredients selected. Calamari, red pearl onions, red grapes, and gooseberries were the appetizer components, choices that even noncooks such as myself could identify as complementary. Host and judge Philip Speer circled the contestants as they began to prep the items.
"How do you feel about the ingredients?" he asked Abby Yates.
"Great. I thought they'd be harder," she responded.

Throughout the courses, Abby Yates brought the kitchen alive. She was energetic, vocal, even a bit high-strung. Her bio for the event claimed she is "currently the crabbiest cook at Swift's Attic," and when her crème fraîche spilled over during the dessert round, the way she exclaimed, "Shit!" gave truth to the statement.

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