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

David Walddon david at vastrepast.com
Sat Nov 8 20:54:25 PST 2008

Sorry I have been offline and out of the country but I had to  
comment, although late, on the Cooking/A&S competitions.

Stanza wrote:
> 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.

I think this is the real crux of the whole discussion. Competitions  
should first figure out what they "primarily" trying to do and then  
criteria should be aligned to that vision. If you are looking to  
encourage participation the judging criteria should be different than  
if you are looking for a Kingdom A&S Champion. And if you are looking  
for the Kingdom A&S Champion what do you want in this Champion?  
Someone that can present their starting point, process, findings and  
the object? Or just the object? Start with the end in mind before you  
develop  criteria.


Food is life. May the plenty that graces your table truly be a VAST  

David Walddon
david at vastrepast.com

On Nov 1, 2008, at 9:06 AM, Stanza693 at wmconnect.com wrote:

> 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
> entrants.
> --
> Constanza Marina de Huelva
> www.geocities.com/stanza693/stanza-works.html
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