[Sca-cooks] Cooking contest

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
Wed Aug 2 09:14:13 PDT 2006

> I'd say that A&S competitions are one rather artificial construct out  
> of the many the collective Laurels and Crown should be using to  
> synthesize a good evaluation of a candidate's abilities and attitude.

One of the big problems with recognition for cooking as an art is
picking the right venues for getting people to pay attention to it.  If
you cook primarily for your group, that can get you recognized if and 
only if the people doing the recognizing reliably travel to those 
events. Many kingdoms are big enough that there are places where that 
doesn't happen. 

A&S displays (as opposed to exhibitions) can work, or can be completely 
bloody frustrating, since many people are just too busy to visit the 
display (I have trouble getting to them myself).

A&S exhibitions, where they are a major focus, and/or you get to talk to 
people, are great. You get lots of people to talk to, you have the 
opportunity to set up the way you want, and you can push food on 
passers-by. (Every time I've entered an exhibition, I've used my food as 
a hook to drag people past the clothes&paintings crowd and see my 
research. Once I've fed them a pickled mushroom or coriander comfit, 
they feel obligated to take at least a small interest.)

If you can get asked to cater for a peerage vigil, you'll get lots of 
attention: in many cases, the peers in question will find your food the 
only stuff they get a chance to eat peacefully, while waiting in line to 
advise the candidate. (However, gauge your quantities based on the 
popularity of candidate and candidate's peer, not the size of the event 
where the vigil is being held!)

A&S competitions have two vectors of attention: one is that it obligates 
someone, or usually multiple someones, to sit down and look at your work 
and at least scan your documentation. In kingdoms where the A&S 
Competition track is heavy and Laurels are rarely seen in classes, that 
makes it a great way of spreading your information out to people who 
wouldn't read the paper or take the class otherwise. The other, for pure 
recognition value, is that if you do well, the competition types will 
count that for you when it comes time to consider recognition.

Me, I judge competitions so that I can give good feedback to people and 
see what they are doing. I run an exhibition, though that was originally 
concieved to display people's work and now really serves to let artisans 
talk to each other. And I try to interact with people and take their 
classes as much as possible, and go to exhibitions, displays, etc. But 
it's tough. When you get a polling award, it seems to me that your major 
mandate is to go out and find more like you and bring them attention, 
but it does take time that you'd be using for other things...

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net 
"History doesn't always repeat itself. Sometimes it screams
'Why don't you ever listen to me?' and lets fly with a club."

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