You may remember the original Top Chef Portland. It was created during my initial foray into iMovie film making, but received high acclaim. Nate Betteker had recently moved to town, and we recruited him, as well as other Portland newbies Chrissy and Tim, to judge the ultimate battle of soup supremacy. The Top Chef Portland Soup Off was born.
The original YouTube video received much acclaim and nearly 2000 views, and the plan was always to have a second battle. The idea was to base it on Tontinos Party Pizza, because, obviously, they are delicious. It took nearly a year to get everyone together again, although Azad (sorry about your name spelling in the video) had to sit in for Tim, who’d moved back to New Jersey. On February 3rd, 2009, it finally happened.
This time cooking was between myself and Nate, with Jared judging as a “past champion.” Because we had months to plan I felt it was appropriate to institute a time limit, one hour (actually an hour and a half.) Nate had even gone so far as to purchase party pizza before to “test it out.” He claims he’d never actually had one, which might actually be true since he had no idea where to find it in the grocery store or that there was a pizza isle. Needless to say, the competition was going to be fierce.
Then, on the day of the battle, Chrissy decided to inform us that she’d gone vegan (for health reasons.) As host and head judge this could have been an issue, but luckily her acting skills prevailed and you’d never even know she only sampled a few of the dishes. When time was up, 6 delecious selections hit the table, ranging from homemade ravioli to lasagne to fruit torts. We ate, we drank, we laughed, and we all consumed about 3000 calories and felt like we were going to puke.
Party Pizza proved to be a worthy and versatile ingredient, but if you want to know who won, well, you’ll have to watch the video.