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Question In Venice: What Would You Cook When You're Looking To Score?
"I'm on a boat!" I kept singing to myself. "Everybody look at me because I'm sailing on a boat." I was referencing the "Saturday Night Live" skit in which Andy Samberg and T-Pain sail the seas making this one simple proclamation. But this was no ordinary sea and I was on no ordinary boat.
I was on a yacht owned by the Missoni family sailing around the Venice lagoon. I wasn't, though, sipping champagne flutes with a bunch of well-fed, blue blazer and gold button-clad Italian gazillionaires. I was on the judges' boat at the San Pellegrino Cooking Cup. I won't go into all the details except to say it's perhaps one of the most bizarre cooking competitions, ever. Mostly because it takes place on a boat while that boat is racing. I wasn't sure what food-loving billionaire was smoking when he concocted this idea but I liked it.
One benefit in covering the Cup - besides eating well, of course - was that it allowed me to see parts of Venice I might not normally have seen.
I also got to spend time in the 10th-century monastery of San Giorgio on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, near Giudecca. It was here where the closing ceremonies took place. I strolled around the arcaded walkways, this time a champagne flute in my hand.
And while I did all this, I had a video camera with me (okay, it was my iPod) and when I encountered the chefs in the competition or the judges (who are some of the most renowned chefs in the world, by the way), I asked them all one question:
What would you cook if you were looking to score?
As you'll see I had to re-phrase the question slightly differently to account for language proficiency and so on. But the answers were varied and intriguing. And, if anything, hunger inducing.