[Sca-cooks] Cooking Competitions (was: Historical Apples)

Stanza693 at wmconnect.com Stanza693 at wmconnect.com
Sat Nov 1 09:06:09 PDT 2008

In a message dated 10/31/2008 2:10:27 PM Mountain Daylight Time, 
sca-cooks-request at lists.ansteorra.org writes:

> What is the acknowledged purpose of cooking competitions in other 
> places? Are they open to anyone, or are they aimed at a particular 
> cognoscenti?
> -- 
> Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
> the persona formerly known as Anahita

Here in the Barony of Dragonsspine (Colorado Springs, CO) we don't have any 
strictly cooking competitions.  Cooking gets lumped in with A&S as part of the 
"Domestic" category so my comments address how we did our last A&S comp.

Back in September, we held our Champions competition.  It is really kind of 
misnamed because there was so much other A&S happening.  There were three 
levels to choose from:

Display only - You could just put your project out for others to sample.  No 
documentation was required.  It's a chance to show off what you are learning, 
without the stress of being judged.

Novice competition - Open to anyone who has been doing an art or science for 
less than 2 years.  Minimal documentation was required.  

Champions competition - Graded on kingdom standard judging forms.  Full 
documentation was required.  Expect stiff judging and strong critique.

Several other baronies use the same or similar format.  The Outlands as a 
whole has Queen's Prize Competition and Kingdom A&S Competition.  I've lived in 
kingdoms where you have to enter your project at some lower level before 
advancing to a kingdom level, but I don't believe that is the case in the Outlands.

When I first began to enter competitions, I was told to consider the Kingdom 
competition as "The Crown Tourney of A&S".  A certain level of artisanship is 
expected.  I got the same kind of questions that you've been discussing.  "How 
do your ingredients compare to what they would have had?  Why did you use a 
food processor instead of a mortar & pestle?  How does your menu choice compare 
to what would have been served at a feast in your part of Spain?" etc.   (By 
the way, I use a food processor because I have very bad wrists and using a 
mortar - even my uber-heavy cast iron one - causes me pain.)

On the other hand Queen's Prize, is for anyone to enter.  You must be 
sponsored by a Laurel, a Lady of the Rose, or a Flower of the Outlands (IIRC) to be 
allowed to enter.  There is no "judging" per se, but someone else's sponsor is 
assigned to give you feedback.  It is meant to be a more relaxed environment 
in which to get pointers on your project.

I've gotten the impression that the goal of A&S competition, primarily, is to 
get as close to creating a period product as is possible, which includes 
cooking categories.   Any substitutions are expected to be fully documented.  The 
secondary goal is to educate the judge (if needed) and certainly the populace 
that comes by as to what would have been done in period.  Given those two 
goals, stated or implied, I understand why the judges seem to expect more of the 

Constanza Marina de Huelva

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