This past weekend Chelsea Market played host to specialty food company D’Artagnan, which sponsored the sixth annual Duckathlon, a culinary competition and gastronomic obstacle course. Teams of chefs from restaurants ranging from Le Bernardin to Annisa fought for the glory.
Challenges ran from the slightly absurd to the very absurd, and included events like “Pasta Pickup” at Buon Italia. Team members had to hold a piece of spaghetti in their mouths and use it to latch on ringed pasta, and the team with the most rings won. We were told Le Bernardin was quite skilled at that.
An easier challenge proved to be the meat identification puzzle at Dickson’s Farmstand Meats. Easier than the “bread archery” at Amy’s Bread, which was designed to measure how far chefs could throw a baguette.
Cookie decorating would have helped out pastry chefs. It also seemed to be quite messy.
How well do you know James Beard? If you knew trivia about the father of American gastronomy, you would have done well in this round.
Team Annisa (with Anita Lo!) inside the Chelsea Wine Vault, participating in the store’s Armagnac challenge. Annisa was, in fact, the winning team, proving that their culinary chops go far beyond the reach of the kitchen. Rock on, Team Annisa! Coming in second and third were Le Bernardin and Cercle Rouge, respectively. And Cercle Rouge won the very important title of best dressed.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 2, 2011