The year is 1970something, and the world is just a little bit fucked. After a period of evacuation and abandonment, and then a period of war and darkness, nature has reclaimed much of the land, along with all the deformed monsters and bloodthirsty hooligans who inhabit that wilderness.
Among many abominations of god and blasphemies of science in the Green Wastes, are "rifts". Holes in reality that sometimes lead to other worlds... The further you get from civilization, the more numerous the anomalies become. Anyone from anywhere could spontaneously appear in our fine United States, though how long they might live after that is a questionable thing.
Why do you care? Well, a cooking competition is being held
It's a big day for Frontier City, and a new tomorrow for the New Illinois Empire. The town's liege, the Marquis of Sauget, is holding a triumphal parade for his glorious campaign in the Ozarks. His legion drives through the streets with untold loot. Trinkets of the Old World, scrapmetal jewelry, and gently used cars captured from vanquished foes.
From their War Interceptors, his men sing songs of victory and mock the expenditure of tax money. The citizens flock to the parade to see the grand spectacle of The Marquis, in all his armor and war paint, sitting majestically on the hood of his Big Rig with sceptre in hand.
Citizens ooh and ah at the flatbeds of exotic animals brought in from the distant wilderness, to be kept as trophies in the Imperial Zoo, no doubt. Trumpetting swans and cackling geese, Gold-colored ducks with blue-inlayed wings, Crimson-feathered ducks with black necks and ruby eyes, shadowy-faced ducks with tufted heads and-... Well, most of the more unique animals in The-land-that-was-Arkansas are waterfowl.
They are still, however, very beautiful additions to the Imperial Collection! There was even a small flock of ruddy ducks which the Marquis planned on selling to breeders, due to their rampant popularity among all duck-keeping nobility. Ruddy Ducks are popular because they are the best ones, as any duck afficianado will tell you.
After the normal animals passed by, guarded by a few more interceptors of singing legionaries, came another flatbed truck full of caged monsters- The conquered beasts of the abandoned green wastelands! A burly 18-point buck bellered from within its chains through a limp, swinging trunk. A wild turkey the size of a man postured itself at the crowd protectively over its 5 similarly-sized "wives". Their singular cyclopean eyes gazed through the chickenwire with hate. Mutant freaks both human and animal, were stacked high on the trailer for all to gawk at. The crowd screamed at them, and the things screamed back. This was, by far, the loudest part of the parade.
Then came the hissing and booing, as the final Semi drove past, stocked with chain gangs of prisoners. They were organized by rank, with the leaders placed on the second 'floor' of cages and the more rabble made to sit under them. Here were the degenerates, the barbarians, and the reprobates that fouled the Green Wastelands with their presence!
Dozens of imprisoned men from tribes that had killed, robbed, and otherwise abused traders and explorers were on display here for a limitted time... And would meet their deaths today in the arena. The arena of Frontier City was small and humble coloseum that was once called GCS Ballpark, where acrobats, fire-eaters, and Izzy the Grizzly were entertaining the already-gathered crowds before the Marquis and his retinue would arrive.
"A grand festival for a grander victory!" you might declare. After all, entire bandit clans had been slain with minimal loss!
"Panem et Circenses!" you might scoff. And you'd probably be right, the man is throwing a triumph in his own name, and may be ignoring a growing crisis in war-debts... Of course, the plebians enjoying the festivities probably don't know enough latin to get what a curmudgeon like you would be saying.
Of course, the markets were bustling today. Musicians with jerry-rigged brass instruments were playing the Illinois Anthem... As best they could. Along the winding paths surrounding the Colosseum, a new stand was being constructed. A raised platform overlooking the stalls. And on that stage, a long table, with three... Thrones?
Hunched and hooded figures, the Court Wizards of the Marquis climbed the steps. While their pagan religious orders were technically banned by the Emperor, there was no denying their horrible powers. And, as the Marquis seemed to protect one of the most contentious cities from bandits so far (Or at least made a show of it) he was allowed to... Entertain his curiosity with the Heretical Dark Arts.
But the Wizards did not seem interested in the affairs of court. Nor, seemingly, the affairs of the gladiators. Their minds were in other places, and tonight, they would hold a game of their own. The three mages, Donnovan, Hiram, and Stanley, sat silently in a row, talking amongst themselves. One of the town heralds called out to the gathering crowds.
"Hear me, citizens! The contest of Chefs is about to begin!" The man shouted, "The food vendors of the arena marketplace are about to submit their food to be judged in a game of life and death! The winnings shall be glorious! In addition to material wealth, each one will be granted a wish by each wizard! But those who lose... Will be KILLED!"
This illicited many oohs and aahs from the bloodthirsty crowds, who were waiting for the regular gladiator games to start, after all.
"The contest will consist of 4 rounds! A Street Food qualifier, then a 3 course meal of Appetizers, an Entree, and a Dessert. Anyone who exhibits gross incompetence, or fails to submit their dishes in time, will be KILLED!
More cheers followed this.
"All customer reviews will also be taken into account. So you, the marketgoers, will also play a part in this game! Send high marks to your favorite dishes! There's also a twist- While a specialty truck full of ingredients shall be supplied to all chefs who wish to take part, ingredients will be intentionally chosen, by the wizards themselves, to challenge the participants. Those who don't use the ingredients, and disobey the court wizards... Will be KILLED!"
The crowd had mostly stopped listening at this point, but hopefully the chefs heard everything.
"And most importantly- Remember, the goal of this competition is to create something delicious. Times are hard, and your ingredients may be unconventional, but the Wizards are immortal, and have pre-war palates! Chefs who disgust the crowd and the judges WILL BE KILLED!"
To become a Chef, submit your application below. The chef can be based on you, but since the goal of Chopped so far has been to deliberately separate itself from CYSfiction, try not to do that. A Chef application should ideally contain their name, age, sex, place of origin, and why they chose to be part of the show. Unlike the previous installment in the series, a potentially infinite amount of chefs are allowed to sign up.
Could've sworn I removed "silently" and the second comma twice. I must be old!
They're wizards. They can talk silently if they want to!
I don't know but I drew a hamster chef and he's adorable.
Of course! Though, I'm not sure how it'll affect your score. We can assume that the person's score will stay the same if they played earlier but their character "joined" in a later round. We can assume that's what they scored before in un-narrated cooking segments, since in theory, 50-80 people could be participating.
I don't have many in-show implements for the rifts. I mentioned them mostly so that people didn't feel like their chefs needed to be restricted to the post apocalypse motif, and that people could get ahold of ingredients that might be pretty hard to come by, in this setting otherwise. It's also so that dead chefs from other seasons could be referenced and/or killed again.
If it's endless, how will somebody win the three wishes!?
I guess it could just be an iron man gauntlet of chefs eternally fighting and dying for the prize that comes every 4 rounds...
The arena of death used to be a ballpark.
Essentially, participants are given a prompt: Appetizer, Entree, or Dessert, and three ingredients. They have to write a short story about turning all these ingredients into a pleasing dish, even though one or more of these ingredients will be deliberate curveballs that attempt to test the chef's sense of taste and/or IQ. At the end of this battle of wits and chemistry, the judges will add in their own opinions and give a them a score. Underperforming chefs get killed in a glorious way, and the winner... Wins!
Also, what Camelon said. Even though I realize now that the park was built many years after the apocalypse in our timeline, but shhh... I needed an illinois border town that has a 'colosseum'! It's all on account of the rifts.
Name: Amelia Earhart
Bio: The first female pilot to complete a solo flight across the Atlantic. During a circumnavigational fight around the world she dissapeared over the pacfic ocean. Her, her navagator, and her plane were never found. In reality, they flew headlong into a rift. For two years Amelia has searched for a way to return home, and finally found one.
Reason for Entering: To use the wishes to return to her own time and complete her circumnavigational flight around the world.
Sounds pretty good to me.
Even if it is deeply problematic that you're forcing one of the foremost feminist icons of her era to get in the kitchen for her own survival you filthy chauvinist pig
To be honest, I was just trying to think of people that "disappeared" and she was the first that came to mind. Jimmy Hoffa was another candidate if anyone wants to do that.
It was a jape, you fool. Amelia Earheart is the far more interesting missing person.
Maria Dolores De Cabeza real Name Sonia.
Culinary knowledge Zero.
Biography: She is a survivor was sold as a sex slave to her former master, Maria Dolores de Cabeza, a Mexican cooker at rising in far lands. Sonia found her opportunity one steamy night and. smothered her former mistress. However, She had to impersonate her to survive and that has led Sonia, now Maria to this situation, broken English language and barely any cooking skills. She is pretty and she will do anything to survive. That and she has a Gordon Ramsay cooking book
Just a formality, this was already accepted for lore accuracy and entertainment value.
It is a famous Spanish name joke. Literally means. Maria pain head so Maria. headaches
I love cooking however, I have a total lack of knowledge about English terms in cooking. The only strength I could have to not making ridicule, It is playing with a character focused on the lore and explain why is clumsy and has bad grammar. Now I can write in character oh Cebolla... where is the cebolla? What is the english name... I want something that makes people cry.... Maria says to the courier that arrives back with. a copy of Goes with the wind.
WITH THE WIND YOU WILL GO HIJO PUTA I WANT A ONION
or something like that. My strengths aren't English language. I have to go for originality and comedy
Yeah, as I said Cabeza is a real last name. And Dolores (pain) Is Lola and is very common. Just the fact that nobody calls her daughter Dolores de Cabeza. That is the Spanish term for headache. So has become a usual hilarious name used in comedies.
Accepted! I have high hopes, our last fan favorite was a murderous grandparent-figure as well.
Name: Rockwell Balsamo
Rockwell lived a peaceful life at Pet Store Generica Eighty-Five with his family of hundreds until one horrific day.
The Hand of Fate reached down from above, plucked each and every one of his aunts, uncles, cousins and children from the cage. They were locked away in the freezers, frozen to death, and fed to the snakes across the way. Rockwell managed to escape when The Hand left the cage door open by mistake.
He spiraled into a deep depression, remedied only by cooking and the thought of finally avenging his family. Perhaps this show will be the key to Rockwell's inner peace.
This was such a heart-wrenching tale, definitely a camera-worthy story. If TV infrastructure still existed, that is. Stanley would be particularly moved by this, at least.
why must you be this way that you are
He met his wife when she was returned from a different store. They had two lovely hamster children together.
Now I'm sad. :~(
I'll edit this post probably on Wednesday and submit my judge I'm reserving a spot.
Name: Omo Eniyan Ti Ebi AakI
Sex: I No Use Condom
Origin Story: Don't Have One
Bio: Two ambitious explorers were wondering the foreign savannahs of Nigger Niger. These adventurers were taken captive by a tribe of starved African Boys. The courageous white adventurous were hung by a stick and were being toasted and cooked over a small wildfire by Primal black Africans.
While the primitive African's made jerking motions towards the female one of the tiresome journalists. The explorers devised a plan to escape. They decided to offer the one thing the poor starving African boys could not resist.
Food, abundant amounts of food. The white explorers using a plethora of advanced vocabulary told the boys that if one of them wins the chopped II contest, there would be mountains of food for them to chill on and that they could have all the sex that they wanted.
Sadly there was one issue to this plan the contest entry, how were they going to enter a horny, wild, starving black boy, and that's when it hit them. A youtube video, what other way was there in the universe for them to convey the emotion of sadness, and depression on the unexpecting viewer. The video was shot and unsurprisingly sky-rocketed to number one on youtube, leaving corporate America with no choice to make an official contest entry.
Who would have thought a cabalistic, skinny, starving boy from the country Nigger Niger would make a number-one youtube video and start a whole movement. Sure round I of Chopped II had already stopped but who was going to stop a horny African boy whose gofundme page was titled, Please Watch, And Donate To Support this Starving Black Child's Dream of Making It onto Chopped. No One!
He may not know anything about food and might eat all the food he can see at first sight. He might try to have sex with every attractive white girl he sees, or walk around with a dirty toga and sandals; he may have been the archenemy of the civilized world. Still, he was Omo Eniyan Ti Ebi Aaki, which may translate to Horny starving man-child in Yoruba, and he was not going to lose not now, not ever.
Well, then Axiom is able to read me just like a book.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you have less than an hour to cook something...
Omo Eniyan Ti Ebi Aaki is offended by you doubting his abilities. He will now attempt to have intimate sex with the female you are closest to.
Name: Heloise Aiko Ducas
Age: Forty-eight years since birth, though it's hard to be precise in relation to anything else. She could be 2,000 years older than this Earth, or in relation might have been born last week.
History: Heloise was born in an alternate pocket universe to the riftworld, where Earth wasn't so broken. Her father was a famous French chef at the head of a famous Restaurant, Spice Nova, and her mother a Japanese sous chef. Originally a quirky child born to priveledge, fattened on dinners of sushi and Coquilles Saint-Jacques, it was natural that she would follow her parent's footsteps and train in the culinary arts.
However, before she could even finish her first internship, her universe was eaten by Gtuhanai, The Destroyer god of the Aartna. Which was a tragedy, since she never even started on her research or dissertation on the Ultimate Flavor.
Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, Gtuhanai spewed out fragments of the universe across fourteen-and-a-half dimensions. Helois floated for a time in a bubble of madness, staring into the void and sharpening her many kitchen knives, until she was swallowed up by the wandering black hole Vix’ni-Aldru. It was here that she alighted upon a mysterious city made of blocks, and was welcomed by the resident lizards on behalf of the excellent Sal de Sugano seasoning she could make from the resident worm-people. It was high time the stupid worms were put to some use. Helois soon found herself the proud owner of her own foodcart, "Kraken' Good Food," and spent the decades in culinary invention.
Even Bokrug himself, the Great Water Lizard, dragged himself from the floating seas of Echelon Nine and clawed his way through the cosmos to come sample her wares. He devoured her foodcart in one bite, then pronounced the verdict. "A decent earthy-sour flavor," he smacked, "and the salty aftertaste is pleasing. But it's too simple. A 3 out of 5. You aren't nearly mad enough or bold enough to create the Ultimate Flavor that will please the palette of Lexur'iga-serr'roth, He Who Devours All in the Dark, and stop him from eating the Infinite Realms. A little planet or universe here or there is one thing to keep the appetite whetted, but everything? That's just plain greedy. I will send you to a place where you can hone your skills against the greatest chefs in the multiverse. You will invent, or die! The Ultimate Flavor muse be created!"
With that, Bokrug opened a rift and sent Helios through, with nothing but the tattered clothes on her back, her impressive collection of knives, the best wishes of the lizard-people, and the most vile curses of the worm-people to her name. After a moment, her regurgitated food cart was sent through behind her.
Now she has landed in a world almost as mad as the one she left, with only one task, creating the Ultimate Flavor, to focus her mind on and keep what shreds of sanity she has left. Only, it seems "gross and disgusting" food will lead to automatic death, so she must find the flavors both humans and mutants and elder gods can enjoy. And clean her cart before the qualifier, because no one wants to smell that.
Strengths: Seafood, exotic meats, unique seasonings, knife-skills, French and Japanese cuisine
Weaknesses: Pastry, sweet foods, fruit, overly processed canned food, sudden trances
[Warning: There is a very small chance that eating her food might affect you in strange ways. This might grant visions, even powers, or diminish sanity.]
Overly processed food in general, of which canned food is usually the worst of offenders. Vienna sausage, spam, and the like. The UItimate Flavor must be in tune with the highest reality, and every process done in a lower realm takes ingredients further and further from the True Plane, making the Ultimate Flavor harder to achieve.
It would be like trying to build a working spacecraft not just out of second-hand parts, or even parts found in a junk yard, but out of the shavings of thrice-scrapped, twice-crushed, once-recycled garbage.
I am with you Sonia aka Maria de Cabeza lives of looking really sexy so man only looks at her boobs and not at the food and making canned food spam and processed food look nice and sexy.
Yes, I know what spam is as it exists here as with other names and i like it with bread and tomato sliced
Canning itself isn't a problem. I probably should have just put, "overly processed foods" in general as one of her foils. [I don't personally have a problem with Spam (though I do hate Vienna sausage,) but it is pretty much pork bits ripped apart and put back together with potato starch to hold it all.]
"Hate" and "Vienna Sausage" don't belong in the same sentence.
My Italian roots force me to scoff at this description. The difference is meatballs are gods blessing on earth and spam is just that--spam.
I've had a grilled-cheese burger if that counts
What... just... happened... I'm terribly sorry for your loss. This is why I make my own meatballs; I would rather my wife have my meatballs than another man's.
I thought that you said that you give your own meatballs to your wife as a present in a spaghetti sauce
I mean... I wouldn't give them to her without sauce, if that's what you are asking...
Astonishing! We shall see if the food can bring the wizards any less sanity than they already have!
Corvin is metal as hell, and certainly approved!
Wow, that sounds like a rough position to be in. I hope the poor guy can pull through!
The contest started without much fanfare. Chefs throughout the marketplace were offered bright red flags, and if they accepted the challenge, they were to tie their flags to their stalls, kiosks, carts, etc. to mark their participation. While usually having a marketplace full of red flags was more of a subtext thing in this day and age, today it was all visible. And the chefs would be fighting, not only for the ultimate prize, but for their very lives.
The three judges were dressed quite uniformly, all in robes whose hoods covered their eyes. Donnovan was tall, gangly, and dressed in dark purple, with skin too wrinkly and fingers too long for their own good. Hiram was short, bulbous, and dressed in brown leather, with a wide, rimless mouth and an upsettingly wet complexion. Stanley was a gristly bent giant with his lips pulled back into a... Rictus scowl? And oversized yellow teeth that appeared to have been sharpened at some point.
"I suppose the subject of the first round should be breached," Said Donnovan, looking to his cohort, "Have you thought of any ingredients?"
"In the mood for duck." Hiram said, "Saw in the parade. Looked delicious."
Stanley, who had been angrily chewing on his own fist, spat it out and slammed his hand on the table, "I LIKE DUCKS!"
"Well, it's decided then, the first ingredient will be du-" Donnovan was interrupted by the sound of Stanley's War Cleaver loudly burying itself in the table in front of him. His centipede-like digits barely escaped dismemberment.
"NO! BE NICE TO THE DUCKIES!" Stanley screamed.
Hiram felt free to argue with Stanley, considering Donnovan was between them, "What are we supposed to eat, then!?"
"BAD ANIMALS! KILL THE BAD ONES! RIP THEM IN GLORIOUS CATHARSIS!"
Donnovan sighed, "... Is there any poultry you don't like, Stanley?"
"PIGEONS," Stanley shouted, "I. HATE. PIGEONS."
"... Very well. We'll be having pigeon meat. Is there anything else?" Said Donnovan.
Hiram retrieved a hip flask from his leather robe, but Donnovan slapped it out of his hand, "Don't taint your pallette, ingrate! We're only going to have food served by the contest participants!"
"Not food, it's booze!" Hiram made peeved gurgling noises, "Necessary, to exist near you two."
"If you want it, you'll have to get it from the chefs. That's how these things are done!"
"Shall we peruse the contestants?"
"Peruse later. Praise standouts. Kill bad. Procedure is standard here."
Hiram moved, oddly smoothly down the steps of the stage, as if he were slithering, then hit the town crier in the gut to get him to bend down, whispering moist and uncomfortably close words into his ear. When this was done, he went about beating other event organizers so they would get on his height level
"HEAR ME!" The announcer attempted, after getting his breath back, "THE FIRST ROUND WILL BE A STREET FOOD QUALIFIER!"
What qualifies as street food? He went on to explain, "YOUR DISH MUST BE PREPARED IN LARGE QUANTITIES, COMPATIBLE WITH 3 OR MORE CONDIMENTS OF YOUR CHOOSING, AND EDIBLE BY HAND!"
The semi trailer full of ingredients was dropped open, and event staff with elongated bruises on their knees, backs, and stomachs brought in covered wheelbarrows of ingredients from the surrounding market.
"BECAUSE THIS IS A RESTRICTION IN ITSELF, THERE WILL ONLY BE 2 NECESSARY INGREDIENTS FOR THIS ROUND-"
The organizers threw their tarps to one side, revealing their contents,
"AND 'LOCALLY SOURCED' BOURBON."
"USE AS MUCH OR AS LITTLE AS YOU NEED. BUT REMEMBER- THE GOAL OF THIS CHALLENGE IS TO MAKE THE INGREDIENTS WORK TOGETHER. YOU HAVE SIXTY MINUTES TO CONCOCT AND DISTRIBUTE YOUR CREATION."
Chefs are to post their cooking segments in the next 24 Hours. Starting now. The chef with the lowest score will DIE. Consult the secondary post for score information.
Each judge may give you a score out of 1000 based on their personal opinions, for an (in theory) maximum of 3000 points.
"Audience members" may also cast their votes in public, scoring the dishes out of 100. This counts only IF THE POSTS ARE IN THE FORM OF A REVIEW.
Chefs (or participants who have played chefs previously in the season) may write posts from the point of view of wandering food critics, to taste and vote on other's dishes, giving a maximum rating of 500 points.
Tim is also able to rate dishes out of 500, since he may technically be an audience member, but he is the Final Boss you have to face after defeating all other audience members, and his power is fivefold.
So that late-joiners have a chance of recovering from missing previous rounds through the power of MERITOCRACY, there's also a 1000-point bonus for being the highest scorer each round.
BONUS POINTS SYSTEM
To try and exceed this maximum and get an edge over what the subjective opinions of the other participants will give you, you can always try and earn BONUS POINTS from each judge by making food that appeases their abhorrent eldritch gods. These are essentially arbitrary restrictions that make cooking delicious food a little more difficult- But, because it pleases these Cult Wizards, you can be awarded extra points for it.
Since the maximum point gains can be worth the full endorsement of several audience members, (and to encourage the use of other ingredients,) you're only allowed to submit 2 of the 4 dishes you'll be making as bonus-point elligible, so choose your moments wisely.
The Chakkrian Order shuns food that is "touched by the light". It isn't considered impure or inedible, but "Dark Food" is far more prized and considered spiritual. To earn bonus points from Donnovan, you'll want to shun the light, and prepare shadowy foods.
Contains no green or leafy vegetables. +50 points
Contains a significant portion of "Dark" vegetables, such as roots, tubers, bark, stems, and dark-colored fruits. +50
Contains ONLY "Dark" vegetables. +100
Contains eyes, tongues, or other sensory organs. +100 points.
Does not contain non-eyeball meat from above-ground diurnal animals. +50
Contains only meat from Subterranean, nocturnal, or crepuscular animals. +100
Complete all of these for an additional +150. Points will not be valid if the dish is considered disgusting.
The Cult of Dreggnion worships The Meat God, and as such, wish to immerse themselves in all the blessings of the Shuddering Fathermother. Plants are not forbidden, but meat is especially prized. To earn bonus points from Hiram, you'll want to GLORIFY MEAT.
Contains only liquids from plants +50
Contains no plants +150
Contains offal or organ meat +50
Contains meat that retains its redness when cooked (Typically rare, cured, or barbecued meat.) +50
Contains digestive organs +100
Contains reproductive material (Rocky Moutain Oysters, Pork Uterus... Or just eggs.) +100
Contains meat from more than one species of animal. +5
Contains raw or very rare meat. +100
Contains bones, marrow, or bone stock. +50
Contains a significant amount of blood or blood biproducts. +50
Because there are very few ways to prepare food in all these ways while still applying to dietary guidelines, health and safety codes, or even good taste, there is no bonus for completing all of these. To attempt this would probably be suicide as, Hiram is not the only judge.
The Covenant of Wrath is one of many branches who follow Caerbog, an eldritch deity who appeals to the empassioned. This particular covenant is militiaristic and very widespread. Its members are seething berserkers who have tapped into the blessings Caerbog has given them to indulge their rage and mad desire for vengeance. To earn bonus points from Stanley, you'll want to ENGAGE SWEET CATHARSIS.
The plant is CRUSHED, PULVERIZED, or otherwise DESTROYED. Mashed potatoes, crushed garlic, a spice mix with mortar and pestle, etc. +50
The plant has a shell to be smashed or gnawed on. +50
Contains ONLY "DESTROYED" vegetables. +100
The meat is TORN APART or BLUDGEONED. (E.G. torn like pulled pork, or tenderized like chicken parm.) +50
The meat has a shell or bone to be smashed or gnawed on. +100
Contains ONLY "DESTROYED" meat. +100
Meat and vegetable:
It is cooked over an open flame. +50
It is scorched or blackened in some capacity. (grill marks count.) +50
The entire dish is darkened or burnt-looking in some way. +100
Complete all these for an additional +100 points. Points will not be valid if the dish upsets Stanley, and your physical safety will be threatened.
After eating as much food as physically possible, Omo Eniyan Ti Ebi Aaki finally decided to join the competition.
Thankfully, Being black has its advantages. Since Omo Eniyan Ti Ebi Araki coming straight from Africa still had the fresh exotic vibe on him he was treated as a sex object by every woman over the age of 5. Omo Eniyan Ti Ebi Aak decided to make it work; he made a deal a win-win for him and the person he was dealing with. He decided to trade his virginity(Wild animals don't count as partners) to a random person on the corner of the street; she said that she would have sex with him. Omo Eniyan Ti Ebi AakI obviously agreed, thinking that today was his lucky day completely ignoring his objective. After having a magical night of fun, the lady starts demanding money, Omo Eniyan Ti Ebi Aak having no prostitutes where he came from, was completely confused and pressured and decided to make the most logical decision.
He planned it all out in his head after collecting the after juices of the night off of the wall and emptying them into a jar. Omo Eniyan Ti Ebi Aak sneaks up behind the prostitute and smacks her on the head with her own pot hitting her until her head was beaten to a pulp. He then severs the head from the body with his bare hands saving it for his buddies back home. He drains the body of blood and puts them in jars. After that, he takes the liver, brain, heart, and muscle's from the body and mixes them in a blender continuously until they have all been mixed into a liquid he then proceeds to mix this with large amounts of bourbon. He pours this out into twenty large cups for everyone to sample. After sprinkling brittle bone over the main course; scrambled prostitute ovaries with a slight side of cooked pigeon.
He knew that he was on the right track, he did not know a lot about the system n illinoise but after repeating the process 3 times with 3 different prostitutes he did know that no white male could say they hated the ovaries of a prostitute. He then proccedded to fill the ovaries with bourbon and a slight amount of cocaine. He
He called the meal, white males delight, with a side of bartenders delight (sllightly burn't prostitute liver), and cats delight (well cooked pigeon meat) there is normal and jelly food. With cannibal shakes, (a mix of all the extra organs, plus blood, and more bOuRBon). All of the meat sprinkled over with bone marrow. He even dressed up as a prostitute to add to the overall effect of the meal.
After robbing awhite van from a random child predator, Omo Eniyan Ti Ebi Aaki fills the van up with food. Suddenly Realizing he forgot the condiments. Omo Eniyan Ti Ebi Aaki runs to the closest CVS and buys a bag of condoms (not for himself, black people don't use condoms) he then procceeds to label them condoments, proud of himself Omo Eniyan Ti Ebi Aak then buys a bucket of lion blood (very healthy for you), and a bunch, I mean multiple gallons of Grape Kool-Aid he then filled the condom's with Grape-Kool-Aid, Lions blood, and afterjuices of love. He procceeds to label these items CONDOMents. Alas his dish was ready.
The Cult of Dreggnion
Contains offal or organ meat +50
Contains digestive organs +100
Contains reproductive material (Rocky Moutain Oysters, Pork Uterus... Or just eggs.) +100
Contains meat from more than one species of animal. +5
Contains bones, marrow, or bone stock. +50
Contains a significant amount of blood or blood biproducts. +50
The Chakkrian Order
Contains no green or leafy vegetables. +50 poin
oops replied to the wrong post
I don't think I should critize other characters. But are you sure that you aren't possessed by Suicidal Sammy? It is really too forced to even be a joke. I know you are not trying to be serious and is a satire but less is more in this matters.
Alack! I forgot that tagging was a thing.
@mizal @Cricket @MadHattersDaughter @ShadowDrake27 @poison_mara @Camelon
Dish: Plane pulled pigeon with mike high bourbon bbq sauce
Condiments: Onions, Tomatoes, Mustard
Amelia ties the red flag to her Lockheed Electra model 10, with two tables set up behind it. On one table is a slow-cooker, three large bowls on the other. She casually releases a flock of live pigeons, then hurries to dump large portions of ketchup, bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, liquid smoke, onion powder, garlic powder, crushed and dried red pepper, and black pepper into her fuselage. She pours the rest of the bourbon in her fuel tank with a satisfied nod.
Starting the plane she takes off and circles the fair twice. Once she has enough altitude she dives for the released pigeons with impeccable timing; they get shredded by the propellers of her Lockheed Electra model 10, making a grotesque sucking, shredding noise and scattering feathers, blood, and guts across her opponents. The tender meat, blood, and bones from the breast and legs falls into the large slow-cooker set to high, meat already sizzling and blackened from the heat of her propeller.
With meat prep finished Amelia flies the plane high into the upper-atmosphere, mixing and flash freezing the boiling contents of her fuselage. Forced into a stall, Amelia dives towards the ground at an alarming rate, recovering only a few hundred feet above the stage. She passes over the stage, doing a barrel roll to avoid the particularly tall Stanley.
She flies over head until the sauce is reheated to perfection. With one more pass she opens the cargo hold, dumping her bourbon BBQ sauce into the slow-cooker with expert precision. It takes a matter of minutes to land the plane, but she leaves the propellers running and one break off. This causes the plane to slowly turn like an Indiana Jones movie.
She grabs a bunch of onions, tomatoes, and assorted seasonings. Amelia flings the tomatoes and onions into the propellers of the plane—grilling and dicing them perfectly as they land in the bowls she had set aside at the beginning of the round. These, along with the Dijon mustard, are placed next to the slow-cooker as sides.
With her remaining time Amelia mixes the slow-cooker and ladles the mixture onto small hamburger buns that were toasted on the engine of her plane and are only slightly blackened all around from the heat and Smokey exhaust. “Amelia’s famous Plane pulled pigeon with mike high bourbon bbq sauce! Come and get it while it’s hot!” she calls with a devilish grin. She is able to make enough for everyone at the fair, and two for Stanley.
This dish is submitted with a request for bonus points:
-only shredded veggies
-only shredded meat
-bones in the dish can be chewed or gnawed
-The entire dish has a blackened appearance (except the red sauce).
-blood included and mixed in with the sauce
- bones included in dish
- no green or leafy vegetables
Grandma's recipe pidgeon
Condiments Garlic powder, honey, red hot chillies, salt, and bread.
Sonia or as everyone else knows you Maria know that you are as good as dead; how could you know that your former mistress was about to go to a fucking death contest? There are guards everywhere and mages and one of the contestants is a fucking giant octopus! No matter what you will die tonight. You put your red flag as a bandana to separate your long pretty black hair from the food. you flirt and smile to the public, playing with the only you are good people.
You just grab the flying rats you are tired to eat all your life in Mexico where there is a plague. After beheaded all the birds and deop away the heads, you chop the Pidgeons free of fluffy feathers, in quarters letting the bones inside that your mixture with salt, garlic powder, red chiles and honey you have crushed in a mortar until making a fine paste. All simple and ordinary, at least that is how your gramma did it. Nothing compared with the amazing dishes of your adversaries, but Gordon Ramsay always wrote think organically and use local and homemade recipes. You stab four quarters of pidgeon, which included the lungs and liver between each quarter to keep the meat tender and give flavour in the grill, each stick with sliced red chiles until having an entire forest of impaled pidgeons and peppers.
Now the rest is easy, first, you fried them on corn oil until the skin is crunchy and brow and then Used a grilled barbecue to use the local bourbon and more honey and garlic to cook it in its own juices and the seasoning with the bittersweet bourbon give deepness to the meat. when is done you put each stick inside half of a local bread where you have dropped a generous amount the Bourbon barbecue sauce.
It is a practical idea, as the bread makes people don't drop sauce and keep all tender and juicy and after ended the pidgeon you can eat the tasty treat with the flavour of the sauce.
You know you have least at least something for each judge.
You fake being secure and flirt with the numerous public. Now
That all it is done, you stoically prepare to die putting a nice dress and drinking all the bourbon possible. You won't die sober. Maybe you could bang that sexy guard before the judge scores.
In a field behind the stadium, on the side opposite the cooking contest and announcers booth, a large rift opens as the chefs start to cook. A large pirate ship crashes through the rift, sails filled with salty sea air, riding on a massive wave, with the jolley-roger raised high in triumph; however, no one seems to notice amidst the turmoil of the cooking contest. The ship smashes into the ground and kicks up a plume of dust.
An older man with greying hair hidden beneath a red bandana and an eye patch stands atop the mainmast. He laughs maniacally and holds on to the mast as the ship breaks and doubloons spill into the empty field. "ARGH! We did it lads!" the man yells. His name is Captain "Scurvy" Greybeard, the most feared rift pirate in the seven nine-hundred and twelve seas across the multiverse. "Now where in Davy Jones locker did you scallywags rift jump too?" He looks around and quickly spots the commotion in the nearby stadium.
"Do you think this octopus would give me a hug? I wonder what that would be like. Probably very safe, with all those arms."
"He probably would, but I'm not sure he can. Remember, dead before the railings, sweetheart. But yes, hugs are nice."
"Oh. Can you give me a hug, then?"
As the girl and Chet Chipman hugged it out, half the crowd gave a collective "Awwww" while the other, more bloodthirsty half paid no mind. For a moment of weakness, Chet himself thought about abandoning his plans and heading back home, but he'd gone too far and worked too hard to stop now. After the hug, he'd returned to crowd.
"And there you have it, just another one of you out there among the rest. I'll be back by the end of the first round, where we'll get some contestant input during the break.
"Do you think this octopus would give me a hug? I wonder what that would be like. Probably very safe, with all those arms."
"He probably would, but I'm not sure he can. Remember, dead before the railings, sweetheart. But yes, hugs are nice."
"Oh. Can you give me a hug, then?"
As the girl and Chet Chipman hugged it out, half the crowd gave a collective "Awwww" while the other, more bloodthirsty half paid no mind. For a moment of weakness, Chet himself thought about abandoning his plans and heading back home, but he'd gone too far and worked too hard to stop now. After the hug, he'd returned to crowd.
"And there you have it, just another one of you out there among the rest. I'll be back by the end of the first round, where we'll get some contestant input during the break.
"Well shiver me timbers, a Kracken in a cooking contest is always a good sign!" Captain "Scurvy" Greybeard jumps from the mast and turns to his crew. "Listen up old salts," he yells addressing his seven oldest crewmembers. "Run to the stadium and fetch me one of each contestant's dishes--except any that contain fruit!"
With a nod his men race into the madness. Captain "Scurvy" Greybeard uses the time to ready his cutlass--you never know when cooking contests will get out of hand. He would know. Even though he is fifty-two, he first started his pirating career as a galley-mate. He cooked his way to head chef, winning a few pirate cookoffs in the process, before earning the right to be the captain of his ship. Now he mostly travels through rifts to surprise unsuspecting vessels and capture their booty. He slurps down several raw oysters to cleanse his palate as his seadogs return.
One carries a pulled pork sandwich with tomatoes. "You fool!" he shouts pulling out a single-shot pistol and shooting the man in the heart. "Tomatoes are fruits you son of a biscuit eater!"
The captain turns to the next man who carries a fried pigeon and pepper concoction on a skewer. Looking it over, and being informed that the saucy wench named Maria made it, he takes a bite. "Amazing! Spicy and delicious! I am almost drunk from the bourbon already! I'll give the food 200 and add another 100 for her dungbie! 300 total for Maria."
The third man tells the captain about Ethel and hands him a black skewer. Crunchy intestine and raw inner meat layered with potatoes create a texture that reminds the captain of raw eel flopping around in his mouth. "If only it tasted better... 50 for the taste, and another 200 for the texture. 250 total for Ethel!"
Next is a dish made by a hamster named Rockwell, or it would be if there was any for him. The fouth seadog simply offers to sing the hamster's tale to the captain. A sucker for a good story, the captain agrees. The pirate's song is low and sad, the captain has to eat another of Maria's skewers so we can blame the tears on the spicy peppers. "400 points for the hamster! Because his sto-I mean... uhh... his food was that good!"
After composing himself the captain hears about Corvin and his pigeon potato nests. Captain "Scurvy" Greybeard takes a bite of the delightfully crunchy dish. He tries each sauce, cleansing his palate between each with another oyster. "This is good... if you are a landlubber! Nothing about this reminds me of the sea! Though, I can't say I dislike the taste... 200 for taste, 50 for texture. 250 for Corvin!"
Next is a dish made by the Kracken that the captain is dying to try. He eagerly grabs the tortilla, douses it with fish oil, and swallows it whole. "This is the stuff! Oh my! The tortillas are light and fluffy, the bourbon is potent, and the whole dish is fishy! This Kraken is the best of all of them, perhaps the only one I can't cook circles around myself! 200 points for flavor and 200 for texture! 400 points total for Geoffrey!"
Last, but perhaps not least, the captain is handed a dish made by Heloise. He pokes at the crepe and scratches his head. With a shrug, he takes a chance and shoves it all into his mouth. "What is this? I have never tasted anything like it... The flavors are delicate and well balanced, without any fish oil! This must be some sort of land siren food... 200 for taste and 150 texture. 350 total for Heloise!"
"I bet I can cook circles around off of these landlubbers though," Captain "Scurvy" Greybeard says with a chuckle.
Ingredients: Pigeon, bourbon, spicy mustard, hotsauce and salt.
Rockwell plants the red flag in the ground beside his little hamster food cart. (If he were to place it on the cart, certainly it would tip over! There is an avid disregard for hamsters in this particular universe, he thinks.)
He skitters to grab a pigeon carcass, three small cups of bourbon and salt, each on seperate trips.
He brings back the ingredients, weaving in and out between humanoid feet (and one octopus?) Anyone who doesn't watch his or her way might recieve a nip at the ankles. Rockwell is not here for pleasure.
But he does find some pleasure in ripping the pigeon to shreds with his bare paws. He removes the bones but the rest is fair.
Birds and rodents are natural enemies, after all.
He licks the blood from his tiny hamster paws afterwards (and washes them too. He is certainly not as disgusting as those filthy humans.)
He lights his little hamster grill and simmers the pigeon in bourbon for just enough time to a temperature of one-sixty Fahrenheit, cleansing the meat from any post-apocalyptic, mega bacteria but not necessarily cooking it. The rest of the cooking (or lack thereof) will come later.
Rockwell cringes at the judges lack of taste for leafy greens, decides to opt for none in hopes Hiram might notice, against his greater, personal preference. But Rockwell does take a small bite of the bundle of kale anyway, thinks about his wife and children and how they might be peering down at him from Hamster Heaven right now.
For a moment, he loses himself in his emotions.
This is the first round, he thinks, I can't give up now. This is for you, Enid, my wife. For you, Claudina, my daughter, and for you, Quentin, my son.
Rockwell powers on, feels a surge of confidence and hamster adrenaline, and he will need it, getting this "Pulled" Pigeon to the judges and all.
Rockwell takes extra time to make his own condiments: hotsauce made from chili pepper stems and seeds and spicy mustard. Rockwell crushes the seeds between his paws with a vengence.
He skewers the meat, places dollops of the spicy mustard on Stanley's paper tray and the hotsauce on Donnovan's tray. Delectable.
When the judging occurs, Rockwell will climb the judges' table, set the trays and the kebabs before them. (This might take some time for a hamster, so he appreciates the patience from the lovely, completely-understanding and ever-respectable judge(s).)
The final trip up the judges' table includes the cups of bourbon. But they are not meant as drinks.
He douses each judges' skewered chunk of pigeon in the bourbon, lights it on fire with his handy hamster matches. Squeaks of mad laughter erupt from Rockwell as he watches the flames. He thinks of snakes and The Hand burning violently within them.
The judges may put out the fires when their meat is cooked to their tastes. (One might be nearly raw, one might be medium-well and one might be burned to a crisp! Just a guess.)
Rockwell springs for bonus points this round, which include:
Donnovan --- no leafy greens, only dark vegetables (hotsauce), the whole bird (organs and all.)
Hiram --- No plants, ALL the guts, pretty much raw, blood.
Stanley --- meat is torn apart, scorched, open flame. If he cooks it the way he wants, it's entirely burned too!
Rockwell has already lost so much. Our dearest audience can at least afford him an eighty, maybe eighty-five?
You are literally breaking my heart right now with that small boi
As an audience member, I enjoy that Rockwell allowed me to cook my own food. The sauces were also delicious, although I don't particularly care for eating the entire bird. I'll give 85 points.
“I, the glorious hermit-connoisseur, have tasted this delictable and vengefully crafted dish, have savoured with tears of delight and anguish the tragic and beautifully crafted history behind this food, have been wracked by pangs of emotions I never thought a mere pigeon could engender in my great hermitic heart. And so, with tears flooding from my eyes, I declare this to be a great dish. The taste, burnt to a crisp, surreal. The presentation, aflame with the hell that the chef wishes to engulf mankind in, a post-apocalyptic statement. The texture, as coal unto my tongue, caused the aftertaste of perdition to rock my corporeal form. This dish has unveiled nirvana upon me and caused me to witness moksha.
The Endtimes 2: Nuclear Boogaloo
WRITE THAT DOWN, WRITE THAT DOWN!
Is your character a vampire because use I AM A MOD SO I WILL FORCE PEOPLE TO VOTE FOR ME IT WASNT IN THE RULES
Sorry, she's not forcing anyone. She just asked.
Pretty unsportsmanlike, but it aint against the book.
SHE IS LITERALLY FORCING AND TELL PEOPLE WHAT TO VOTE.
No she's telling Ford what to vote. It's different.
Wrong, she decieved him to give a perfect score of 100 points. It was totally an option not to vote.
I mean, she just told him what to say. Not against the rules if he says it.
Maria literally vomit in several Corving dishes before he serves them and Give all her points TO WHOEVER MOST RATING WITHOUT BEING MIZAL CHARACTER LOL
Your character Maria speak bad English
I, a ran-down spectacle, choke down Corville's food. Disgusting! I rate it 1 point.
I, a spectator, taste Corvin's pigeon dish. Although I don't particularly enjoy the meat used, the great flavor of the sauces overshadowed the bird. 90 points!
I look around furtively. I don't eat meat, but I just...feel bad for Corvin. Also, I don't want to get into it with anyone and have a whole lame conversation about vegetarianism. So I make a big show of eating it and smacking my lips and rubbing my belly, but instead I drop it behind the seat cushions where it will, in days to come, start smelling the studio up. I make such a show of it that I actually inspire several vegetarians watching at home to abandon their vegetarianism.
"One hundred points! I would give it one thousand if I could!" I say, dabbing at the corners of my mouth with a handkerchief.
“With the confidence of a veteran connoisseur of forty years, this travelling food hermit shall now cast judgement on these fried pigeon bites carefully placed inside potato nests. The presentation is perhaps this dish's most striking aspect, and had been brilliantly executed - one is made to feel like a triumphant fox galumphing through the fields with his great prize, and so for that galumphing element I award a full 33 points!
“As for taste, neither the potatoes nor the the pigeon strike me as tastelessly done, but they have been constricted and limited, they lack that shazam, that boom-boom. But I must praise wholeheartedly the accompanying drizzle. Far better than disgusting ketchup. And so I award an additional 25 points for taste!
“The potato nests have maintained their crunchy texture, truly giving that biting-into-a-nest feeling. C'est fantastique! The pigeon bits, however, are far too small and what little texture they have is overwhelmed by the twigginess of the nests, and so I award an additional 25 points for texture!
And so I, the great hermit-connoisseur, award 83 points to Corvin. Dobra robota.”
Actually underwater animals have no tear ducts because their eyes are always wet from the water
fake tears yes
Maria tries to disguise herself to runaway from The tournament to do that Decide to give all her points to Ethel 400 points and cause enough heat she could runaway after disguise herself with a fake black beard and a old pot like Helmet
Among the crowded seats of the coliseum, there stood a man with a microphone. He was wearing a steel gray business suit and a red shirt, and had a pistol strapped on his hip. His face seemed strangely familiar, but his large moustache was impeccable. He pressed it against his face a few times, most likely keeping the beast in check, before speaking into the microphone, his voice echoing from speakers across the stadium.
"Welcome, ladies, gentlemen, or some other third thing to this grand event! How are we all feeling tonight, Illinois?!"
The cheers could be heard for miles, everyone in the audience bloodthirsty. Were they in for a show tonight...
"That's what I like to hear. Unfortunately, your usual Caster will no longer be around. He had an allergic reaction and died of lead poisoning. I'd ask for a moment of silence, but I don't think any of us are here to be silent, AM I RIGHT?!"
A resounding roar of cheering had come from the audience. This man knew exactly what he was doing.
"So that means I'll be your new Caster. I'm... Chet Chipman, and tonight some chefs are ready to prepare some of the finest meals of our age, in order to gain their three wishes... or DIE TRYING!"
The audience was going wild, and some of them were doing chanting. A small part were in some bizzare language, but Chet didn't give any mind. He was just trying to give these people what they wanted.
"Now, without any further ado, let's see who gets CHOPPED!"
He retreated to the Caster's booth as the audience went wild, proceeding to commentate on the events and narrate to the crowd as the show went on, writing notes himself as the chefs prepared their food.
At about the 30 minute mark, Chet Chipman left the booth and returned among the crowd. The chefs were still hard at work out in the field, and some had already displayed their... Odd cooking habits.
"Boy, I am sure glad I was in the booth for that one. Anyway, in a deviation from what you all are normally used to, I like to interact with you, the people. Get the feeling of the crowd. Get to know who I'm Casting for. So, let's get started: how about you?"
Chet walks over and takes a knee next to a young girl. He was kind of surprised that a child would be here, but hey, in this day and age people bring their kids everywhere.
"How do you feel about the show, young lady?"
"Yes, it can be. What with the loud noises, and blood splatter, and... well, public execution. But what do you think of the contestants so far?"
"The old lady seems so evil; I thought grannies were supposed to be nice? But she doesn't act nice. She acts like she would gladly eat me if given a chance. But she wouldn't, would she?"
"No, of course not. She'd be dead before she made it to the railing. I assure you."
"The lady with the plane reminds me of my brother. He wanted to be a pilot, too! But he'd never do something so bloody, for sure! He was nice."
"Yes, that was indeed... 'Eccentric'. Not the usual showers of blood you're all used to."
"This Maria is very pretty, and she smiles a lot. I met a woman like her once before, pretty and smilling. My mommy said she was a "whore". Must be a way to say pretty. So, this lady is the best whore there is."
"Whoa, okay, that is... Not a way to say 'pretty'. It means something else. But I agree."
"The hamster is nice! I like hamsters. They're fluffy, and sweet! Please don't hurt him, ok?"
"Well, sweetie, it's not up to me. It's up to him. From what we're seeing so far, he'll be fine."
"Corvin's big and strong. Like my brother. But my brother never learned how to cook like this. But he made pancakes for me once, so I still love him. I hope he's ok."
"... Well, I... Hope he is too. As for Corvin, he's definitely a fan favorite. We'll see if his cooking can match."
"And there you have it, just another one of you out there among the rest. I'll be back by the end of the first round, where we'll get some contestant input during the break."
And so, he returned to the booth, continuing his job of Casting and noting the chefs.
When the chefs had finished and it came time to vote, Chet had submitted the following in his report to the scorekeepers:
Amelia, while a great pilot, is not known for her cooking skills. I'll give her 100 for the performace and effort, but a 10 for the meal, for a total of 110.
Maria had some pretty decent cooking, 150. And although pleasant to look at and a real crowd pleaser, she just had this... Hostile, fake aura. Plus, I couldn't understand a goddamn word she said. 50, for a total of 200.
Seems Ethel was REALLY pandering to the judges on this one, with all the little bizzare boxes ticked. Came out pretty okay, for what it was, and I've definitely eaten worse. 175. She also had a pleasant demeanor, but it felt... strange. I can't quite put my finger on the feeling. 150, for a total of 325.
While Rockwell was adorable by default with his tiny cooking space, his cooking was also only a little bit above decent. He did, however, include both variability and performance in the little fire trick at the end. 200. As for the hamster himself, I saw beyond the cute exterior. I noticed the burning passion in his little hamster eye and the determination in his movements, especially when serving the judges. I can respect that. 250, for a total of 450.
Corvin definitely had the most edible meal out of them all. He made a unique call with the nests as well. 250. However, while he did seem to show the same determination as Rockwell, there was something off about him. He was polite and even passed out the food himself, but when he came to the booth, it was... Fake. And I know fake. I'm pretty sure I saw him do some shady activity in the crowd as well, but can't confirm. 125, for a total of 375. Keep an eye on him.
Surprisingly, Geoffrey the giant squid had the second most edible meal here. Even garnished the thing. If he'd had better condiments, it might've been better: the fish doesn't really go well with the pigeon. 200. Although he doesn't speak, his actions speak for him, like Rockwell. He's a hard worker. 200, for a total of 400.
Finally, Heloise. She had the third most edible food, and it wasn't too bad. 175. However, she seemed just so slightly unhinged, which I feel affected both her cooking ability and performance, but she had a solid presentation. 150, for a total of 325.
(PLS NO RESPOND JUST IN CASE OTHER PEOPLE SHOW UP)
It was the noise that troubled Heloise, more than the stench or the heat. The buzz of the excited crowd was louder than the waterfall where she loved to bait worm-people, the strange noises she could hear from the shadowy places more intense than the snappy squish of wormflesh as she tipped it into the grinder, and the shouts of the judges and commentators more cacophonous than the raspiest, bloodiest lizard-people brawl. This new world was a painful overload of sights and smells and sounds.
But she had to stay focused. The Ultimate Flavor would not discover itself. Heloise bit her lip, her hands itching to hold a knife, as the judges revealed their ingredients.
“PIGEON MEAT!” The tarp was thrown aside, revealing a pile of poorly plucked pigeons as well as several cages stuffed with live birds.
Pigeon was a fine ingredient, with a sweet, nutty, gamey flavor. She could work with that.
“And ‘LOCALLY SOURCED’ BOURBON.”
Another fine ingredient! Bourbon could be used in so many sauces -
“"USE AS MUCH OR AS LITTLE AS YOU NEED. BUT REMEMBER- THE GOAL OF THIS CHALLENGE IS TO MAKE THE INGREDIENTS WORK TOGETHER… "
Aha, there was the trap. Bourbon was a stronger flavor, which could easily overwhelm the flavor of the pigeon. It wasn’t going to be as simple as making an Asian bourbon sauce or a barbeque sauce. To truly “marry” the flavors, the pigeon couldn’t be treated as just another meat with the bourbon left the star of the show.
She grabbed the main ingredients first, even if it meant other chefs getting a head start on the ingredient cart. The flavor profile of the bourbon itself would determine what she needed to do to the dish. She swirled some in a small shot glass, sniffing the aroma and dabbing a bit on her tongue: it was woody, like an oak; buttery; and spicy, like pepper, nutmeg, and clove. She drank the rest of the half-shot to brace herself, and the answer came to her:
Harvest crepes filled with pigeon over a bourbon roasted vegetables
Heloise ran for the extra ingredients, jostling another chef aside to grabbing one of the larger carts. She tried not to get distracted by the adorable little hamster chef skittering about underfoot. Lots and lots of eggs, flour (she had her own, but why use it when she could score some for free?,) beetroot powder, carrots, hazelnuts, walnuts, ambercup squash, and a few other assorted ingredients went into the cart. She had seasonings enough back at her own cart. She made it back just as a crazy airplane looped overhead, showering blood and feathers below. Heloise snapped out the awning, barely saving her stand from some major health and safety violations.
Pigeon was one of those meats that had to be either cooked very slow, or very fast, to maximize it’s tenderness. Sixty minutes wouldn’t be enough time to sear and cook sous vide, so that left a fast fry in a skillet as the best solution. It could wait for a bit, then, best to serve it fresh.
She’d better start with the squash and root vegetables. It was almost a cathartic experience to chop the ambercups in half, and her intense accompanying hee-yahs! caused the few onlookers to step a few feet back. But soon they were cut and scooped. Heloise drizzled them with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and star anise. Into the oven they went to bake a bit before chopping them down any further. Some quarter-inch chopped beets followed, tossed in olive oil and sage, and carrots with a dash of cinnamon after that. A tray of hazelnuts sprinkled with nutmeg went in last.
Heloise set several pans out with bacon to fry – she would need a lot of pigeon to feed a hungry crowd, and bacon fat would be perfect to fry it in. And the bacon would have other uses. Another pot on the stove was set with bourbon in it, to start it reducing down, with a dash of cinnamon, clove, and pepper.
After mixing up her crepe batter, adding beet-root powder to the flour for a more complex flavor and the deep purple hue it would give the crepes, Heloise turned to making the condiments.
“Care to tell the audience what you are whipping up?” A voice interrupted. One of the announcers.
Heloise began madly chopping up walnuts, but that didn’t seem to intimidate him to leave. “This first condiment is a walnut-mustard,” she finally explained, scooping the walnuts into a pot of boiling water for a minute, then dumping some of her own mustard and a bit of salt into the food processor, followed by a half-cup of bourbon from the jar. “A tangy, earthy sauce, it will be a savory companion to the crepes I am making, highlighting both the nuttiness of the pigeon and the spicy notes of the bourbon.”
“But what –“ She turned the food processor on. HIGH. She winced. He gave up trying to talk over it and moved on.
She set the walnut mustard in the fridge so the flavors could mix, then turned to the next condiment. She needed something fresh, and simple, that would elevate the savory of the crepe into something more bright. There was no need to be fancy, here: sour cream and a dash of lemon juice and vinegar would do, with a smattering of chopped scallions.
Flipping the bacon over to finish frying, Heloise decided a bacon-bourbon jam would be the way to go for the third sauce. While there would be no way of controlling who might smother it on and drown out the pigeon, a dollop would enrich the savory flavors and balance the spice with just a hint of carmelized sweetness.
Pooling some of the bacon fat into a fresh pan, she added minced shallots and garlic. Then she scooped out the crisped bacon onto napkins and reserved the rest of the bacon fat in a large jar. Once the shallots were translucent, it was time to add some of the reduced bourbon, maple syrup, and just a bit of star anise.
While that boiled, Heloise removed the hot, much softer squash, and scooped it out onto the cutting board in large chunks. It didn’t have to be pretty, since it would be inside the crepe, so smashing it with a meat tenderizer worked just fine. Putting it in a pan with higher walls, back in the oven it went. The other veggies got flipped, and the temperature upped a little to get a nice roast. She removed the hazelnuts, they were done, and pulsed them in the food processor for later.
She added bit of vinegar and brown sugar added to the boiling bacon jam mix, then started doing a clean sweep of the pigeons. They each needed deboned, which would unfortunately take a bit of time, and some of them still had little pieces of shot in them that needed removed. Some looked a little too bruised up to be edible, so those were discarded. But it was a job worth doing right, and the frying wouldn’t take long at all. In the middle of it she set the jam to simmer on low.
“TWENTY MINUTES!” the announcer blared.
It was time to get cracking. She quickly mixed spices for the pigeon, a simple blend of star anise, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper, and dragged the first batch of chicken breasts through and set them to pan-fry for a few minutes. The three large pans were enough for about eighteen pigeon breasts at a time, which she hoped would stretch to serve about fifty people – a good batch size to have before needing to start another. Hastily picking through the rest of the meat, Heloise removed the livers and tossed them into a fourth pan to cook. Then it was time to flip everything.
Pulling the veggies from the oven, Heloise scooped them into a very large bowl and mixed in some of the reduced bourbon and spices. Back to the birds, she pulled them all out and set them to rest. The liver was tossed into the food processor with a little of the reduced bourbon mix and some sage, pulverized into a paste. Back to the veggies, a fork test revealed them all to be nice and tender inside, but they could use a little more roasting to deepen the flavor. Heloise mixed in the liver bourbon paste with the chunky roast veggies, then tucked it all back inside the oven and ticked up the temperature to almost a broil.
Heloise diced the pigeon breasts, scooping them into a deep pan at the front to keep them warm and at the ready. She then poured the bacon jam into a condiment tray, where it would no doubt thicken even further as it cooled. The rest of the condiments from the fridge were ladled into their own trays. Finally, pulling out the bourbon vegetables, she put them into the last main tray, smiling softy as an earthy, spicy steam tickled her nose.
Oiling the first circle griddle and pouring the purple batter out. Smoothing it with a rod. Pouring the aubergine batter out onto one of the large circle griddles and smoothing it with a wooden rod. Flipping the foot and a half wide crepe. Spreading the chunky mash of roasted bourbon vegetables in one section. Adding a scoop of diced pigeon atop. Sprinkling with the toasted hazelnuts. Wrapping the crepe into a cone. Putting that into a paper cone for easier handling, the top of the crepe open and waiting for any sauces to be put atop. Repeat three times. Ladling the sauces into nine small, gray dishes.
The judges sit, their eyes shaded by the hoods they wear. A sense of awe passes over Heloise; they, too, have touched the minds of the elder-gods.
“Have you killed the EVIL pigeons?” Stanley asks.
Donnovan waves a hand. “What have you brought us?”
“Crêpe de récolte au pigeon et légume bourbon. Harvest crepes with pan-fried pigeon and bourbon root-vegetable mash. The condiments are a choice of tangy bourbon walnut-mustard, fresh sour cream and scallions, or a savory-sweet bourbon bacon-jam.”
While the judges sample her food and decide her fate, Heloise is escorted back to her food stand. She has a hungry crowd to serve…
Lol. Good catch! But yes, that should be pigeon breasts. Chicken wouldn't even fit in the pan in that quantity.
I don't know what that is. Clearly that's some sort of Forum Game term, which is an illegal thing that criminals do.
I'm not a criminal...
I guess you would have hated the sci-fi play-by-email writing thing I used to be involved in, where everyone used other people's characters as npcs for minor conversations just to keep things moving. Longer conversations and potentially out of character stuff did need permission or a joint post, though.
I can certainly avoid it in the future ;) And if that portion gets rewritten by Sentinel I won't complain. I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to serve to the judges directly like MHD or pass my plated tray to the announcer like in Chopped.
Let's see if I can post an image correctly, this time.
Most people (even Heloise) won't be able to see the thinning of the dimensional walls that surrounds her, nor the strange beings that sometimes appear while she is cooking, but some might be able to see or sense it so I included it.
It is this pinching together of various levels of reality and unreality that can lead to her food, rarely, having strange effects.
This perfectly captures my perpetually serene face! Really quite chuffed to be featuring in one of these already. And I've no idea how you knew I'm an incorrigible indeeder, but I am indeed.
I just like the tiny face of the thing on your head
the SCORING SYSTEM has been augmented, and will come into effect in the next round.
The contest of cookery that followed was something of a fever dream. An airplane scattered gore and smashed bird bits over the crowds, inciting a small enraged mob who attempted to chase it. It also splattered the Wizards, which incited rage from... Everyone except Stanley, who roared with perverse glee at the sight of pigeon murder... He was less pleased by the loud plane interrupting his strange semblance of tranquility by flying so close to his head. The much taller and more cadaverous Donnovan had to duck out of the way to not get clipped by the wing.
At some point toward the end of the cookery, prominent figures rose out of the general patronage to give their two cents. A strange, eloquent fellow who dropped his pigeon on the ground and started miming a bit before giving Corvin 100 points... A man apparently upset that he couldn't eat food and breathe at the same time, choking on pigeons and giving Corvin an indignant 1.
But then, came another visitor... He was a strange man, who walked stiffly, and stared glaze-eyed at nothing. He stumbled into the marketplace and toward the smell of food. Occassionally he would pick some random sample from one of the chefs and declare, "I, a random spectator, sample Corvin's food. Delicious! I rate it 100 points."
He wandered from Corvin's kiosk to Ethel's, "I, a random spectator, sample Corvin's food. Delicious! I rate it 100 points."
The most distinguished guest of all, however, was the legendary Food Hermit. The crowds cleared a path before him, hesitant to even touch the legend. The bustling market grew noticeably quieter around him for a radius of 30 feet, everybody wanted to hear what he was saying- For what he had to say was quite sagely indeed!... Only, he suffered an interruption on his trip to the second stall, as a panicking woman with a red bandana started... Forcibly dryheaving over his meal?
Luckily, he had already eaten most of it, but eventually, the woman reached into her throat and blew her chips all over the remains of his once-flaming Pulled Pigeon! There were gasps of astonishment throughout the audience.
"What the FUCK is wrong with you!?" Shouted one of people in the crowd, drawing his knife, "Can't you see that's the Food Hermit!?"
The woman didn't stick around to find out, slipping a pan over her head, a beard over her face, and running off into an alleyway.
The man-thing walked stiffly up to the Food Hermit, reaching his fingers into the puke and procuring a pigeon scrap...
"I, a random spectator, sample Corvin's food. Delicious! I rate it 100 points."
The marketgoers looked on in horror, and the man with the knife stabbed the un-reviewer angrily. Not blood, but white, pulsating... Veins, spilled out of the wound. They slid wetly over the surface of his chest... And onto his attacker's hand, spreading out into a wet, vibrating network of thickening probosci.
"F-FUCK! FUUUCK!" The attacker yanked his hand away, the white tentacles that dug into his hand leaving bleeding pinpricks behind, "GET AWAY FROM THAT GUY! IT'S A SLUG! THAT GUY'S A SLUG! SOMEBODY GET AN AXE!"
People ran screaming out of the market, and he grabbed a meat cleaver from one of the stalls. He attempted to amputate his hand, hacking rapidly at his wrist before the Slug could spread through his body... All it took was "SLUG!" and the screams of the crowd to get the Wizards' immediate attention.
"There's a Slug-Infested in our number, men!" Donnovan said, stepping hurriedly toward the stairs.
"I HATE THE INFESTED!" Screamed Stanley, leaping over the table.
The three walked to the market square, where the Slug was drunkenly staggering after the one-handed man, who was heavily bleeding and trying desperately to crawl away!
"How many have you infected, Charlatan!?" Donnovan shouted, trying to get the creature's attention. Hiram kept quiet, continuing to lurch forward toward the one-handed man without stopping.
"I, a random spectator, sample Corvin's food," Said the man, his hand outstretched toward his victim, fingers and other joints all over his body bending and folding in unnatural ways, "Delicious!"
"DIE, INFESTED!" Stanley launched a great gout of flame from his hand, which caused the Slug to make... A high-pitched, hissing squeal.
He turned to the two wizards and started toward them, his face rolling, rumbling... Deforming. His mouth opened wider than any mouth was made to, splitting open at the corners, and that white shifting substance caused the eyes to fall out of his "head". His skin sack deflated as the Slug began to pour out of his mouth, and it branched out at the Wizards like an increasingly wide tree of shuddering white flesh.
By the time the Town Watch arrived, the creature was a smoldering mass, and Hiram had attached a new hand to the wounded citizen. He just happened to have a fresh one buried away under his robe...
With the angry mobs chased off by the rumors of a Slug, and the town watch scouring the area for infected, there was effectively a... Forced intermission, of sorts. This was a lucky break for the disguised woman, who, in her attempts to run away from her crimes, found out the hard way that, well, there weren't so many places to hide out there.
She was more or less swept back to her spot in the marketplace by the tides of returning people once the event was handled.
~~~ 1. Amelia Earhart ~~~
By the time they sat back down again, the judges were rattled, covered in pigeon viscera, and deeply annoyed. They hoped, for all the worlds, that the upcoming dishes would be good. Because if they weren't, there'd be hell to pay.
Fearful attendants scrambled to bring them the first dish, an array of pulled pigeon sandwiches was laid out before them, and two in front of Stanley, who clapped merrily at the sight.
"Plane Pulled Pigeon with mike high Barbecue sauce," said the attendant at the edge of the table, "Prepared by our first contestant, Amelia Earhart."
"What are our condiments?" Donnovan asked.
"Onions, mustard, and tomatoes have been provided in these jars, your eminence..."
Before the others could reach out, Stanley swiped the jar of onions. Upon finding his hands were too big for it, he crushed the lip of the jar and tossed the fragments away, scooping handfuls out and eating them like winnie the pooh. The other judges merely picked up their sandwiches, taking a bite.
A wide array of flavors washed over their tongues, it seemed there were a million things mixed in with this pulled pigeon sauce. Not bad things, there were plenty of good tastes abound, but... Donnovan couldn't help but pipe up.
"Where's the bourbon?"
"T'sinthere. Gotta go lookin' for it" Hiram said, "Some blood in here too. And feathers. Feels like somebody threw a pigeon in a blender and used everything but the squeal."
"It is... A little upsetting. What do you think, Hiram?"
The container of onions was empty, and the sandwiches had disappeared while the other wizards were talking.
"GOES GOOD WITH ONIONS!"
Donnovan: One of the key ingredients is clearly not the star here, but at least the sauce tastes good, which is something... The errant bits of bone make chewing an upsetting experience. It's like the entire sandwich is filled with those hard bits you find in sausages. And the feathers also don't do good things for the texture. I feel like these things made to bribe the other judges were quite poorly incorporated.
200/1000 (+50 bonus)
Hiram: 'Sgot everything in it. Like consuming a whole bird. If I wanted feel like I was eatin' a bird fresh off the side of the road, though, I'd do it raw and chew it myself. Nothin' appetizing about just throwin' it in a blender.
300/100 (+350 Bonus)
Stanley: THE PIGEON WAS MUTILATED! GLORIOUS WAS THE DESTRUCTION OF THE BIRD. HOW ENRAPTURED I AM THAT THE EXISTENCES OF THESE VERMIN HAVE BEEN CLEANSED IN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL MANNER! THEIR SEARED AND LIQUIFIED CORPSES CRUNCH IN MY JAWS LIKE A VENGEFUL DREAM! THE OTHER JUDGES WORRY THAT ONE OF THE INGREDIENTS I DON'T REMEMBER WAS NOT INCORPORATED PROPERLY.
500/1000 (+550 Bonus)
Chet Chipman: 110
Total: 2050 points.
~~ 2. Maria de Cabeza ~~
The judges that weren't Stanley had quite sour expressions by the time the next dish arrived. Stanley's expression was an enraged scowl, but this appeared to be the way his face rested. Though, at least Donnovan's expression piped up as the next dish was being brought up the steps.
"Smell that?" He said, nudging the other judges, "It smells delicious!"
"Smells fried!" Hiram grinned.
Each skewer was handed to the judges in short order, and the attendant began his introduction, "A special presentation by Maria Dolores De Cabeza. Her grandmother's recipe for pigeon!"
Hiram took a bite, taking in the juicy golden crunch, pressing his tongue in to taste the juices over the roof of his mouth. He chewed for a long time before swallowing, all the judges, in fact, chewed for a wile before swallowing. It was the best they'd had so far, considering that the meat was actually, properly butchered.
"Her grandmother's a chef I'd like to meet." Hiram grinned lecherously, but Donnovan covered his mouth before he could continue, adding his own two cents.
"Simple, delicious, and ergonomic, the way it should be. I feel like it married the two flavors well enough."
"I LIKE MARRIAGE!" Stanley said with his mouth full of kebab. He pounded his fist on the table to emphasize this, but tears appeared to drop from the shadows of his hood, "I... LIKED MARRIAGE..."
Donnovan: A very strong opening dish. It tasted good, but the spice covered up the flavor of the intended ingredients a bit. A minor flaw, however, since it was hugely enjoyable.
Stanley: THE WAY DONNOVAN SAID IT REMINDS ME OF BETTER DAYS. I HATE REMEMBERING BETTER DAYS! THE MEAT STICKS ARE GOOD, THOUGH.
Chet Chipman: 200
Filthy Slug: 100/100
Captain Scurvy Greybeard: 300/500
Total: 3100 Points
~~ 3. Grandma Ethel ~~
Another set of skewers were soon brought, this one not so spicy, but... With a very different color. Black, with a fine, liquidy sheen, the sauce was entrancing to look at, like half-liquid obsidian. And there were three more options to go with, even!
"WHAT ARE THESE?" Stanley asked at his usual volume, causing the attendants to flinch.
"A submission from the contestant named Ethel, your eminence," Said the head attendant, "She has prepared Skewered Bourbon Pigeon."
"First it's gramma's recipe, now an actual gramma's makin' it." Hiram said, taking a bite.
Rich organ flavors laid bare under a bittersweet sauce. An acquired taste, but one that Hiram had acquired quite easily...
"What's in this?" Donnovan asked.
"Liver, kidneys, blood, bit of intestines..." Hiram poured one of the sauces over his serving and licked it, "Hot damn, sweetbread!"
Donnovan looked on in awe, "I hope to never be as experienced in these things as you are..."
Donnovan: It's a little bit precarious having to eat meat off the bone, that's in turn held on by a stick, but it's servicable. There's a lot of very... Complicated flavors, but they work together in non-cacophonous way. It's likeable, but not approachable. The color is nice, but the structure itself really doesn't look too appetizing. It's tastier than I ever assumed pigeon guts would be, at least. And the potatoes were delightful! I also appreciate that there were eyes to consume... Heh, may not have been intentional on your part, but know I appreciate these things.
600/1000 (+350 Bonus)
Hiram: Tastes good. Rarely see pancreas used these days. Glad it made a comeback after The day The Things came out of the Earth. All the condiments were good. Custom-made, stuff you don't see too often. Crisp, well-seasoned. Haven't had guts like this in a long time.
800/1000 (+350 Bonus)
Stanley: THE GUTS ARE WRAPPED AROUND THESE POTATOES LIKE TINSEL ON A CHRISTMAS TREE! THE BEAK IS FORCED OPEN BY THE SKEWER IN AN EXPRESSION OF UNENDING TORMENT! CAERBOG BLESSES THIS WHIMSICAL VENGEANCE!
Chet Chipman: 325/500
Captain Scurvy Greybeard: 250/500
Disguised Maria: 400/500
~~4. Rockwell ~~
Stanley could sense when fire was coming his way from a mile off, and he watched intently as the next dish was brought up, his fingers wearing grooves in the edges of the table, his eyes staring through his hood... As a small hamster made the tremendous journey up all those steps and, somehow, to the table.
After the chef set their skewers alight, the attendants braced for Stanley to ask what this was again... But he sat silently, scowling, hypnotized by the flames.
"... What's this?" Hiram eventually spoke up.
"SILENCE! FIRE!" Stanley shouted.
When enough silence had passed, at least in Donnovan's opinion, he spoke, "Continue, Peon."
"It's some sort of pulled pigeon kebab, prepared by the hamster you just saw. His name is Rockwell."
"SOMETIMES I SEE YOU IN THE FLAMES, DONNOVAN. YOU WOULD NOT LIKE THEM."
Donnovan tried his best to ignore Stanley. Fire always seemed to make him... Easily bothered. More than usual, anyway.
"I see. And the condiments?"
"I think you may find them on your tray, your eminence. He's personalized each one to you. In fact, you're to blow them out when they're cooked to your liking."
"Oh, I see! How... Considerate?"
"Way to make us do the work." Hiram scoffed, shaking the flames off his skewer and taking a bite.
It was remarkable to the judges that everything worked so well- The cooking was simplistic, but, it functioned well. And the spectacle of fire was nothing to sneeze at! Or, at least, Stanley would be very upset if anybody hinted at such a thing.
Donnovan: An ingenious use of ingredients for a technical achievement. This is the sort of outside-the-box thinking that we need! The recipe was a little simple, but the sauce was excellent. Though it didn't taste much like bourbon by the time it was done cooking properly, I can't say it wasn't the star of the dish!
600/1000 (+300 Bonus)
Hiram: Tasted good. Had bourbon and pigeon. Liked that blood and gore were included. Goes good with the mustard I stole from Stanley.
700/1000 (+500 Bonus)
Stanley: THE ONLY FLAW WAS THAT THE FIRE STOPPED. AND THAT I DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH MUSTARD.
800/1000 (+500 Bonus)
Chet Chipman 450/500
Not Geoffrey: 400/500
The Hermit Conniseur: 100/100
Deeply touched audience member: 100/100
Captain Scurvy Greybeard: 400/500
The vampire hunter arrived in short order, with something that was, for the first time so far, not on a stick. That was when Maria saw her chance. It appeared that none of the dishes she'd ruined so far would count toward the score! No, she had to sabotage him here and now! Luckily, she was wearing her trusty disguise.
She dashed up to Corbin and puked on the dish in front of Stanley. The attendees, horrified, attempted to grab her, but she got away just in time. Stanley looked down at his dish, taking a whiff...
"THERE IS PUKE HERE! I DO NOT LIKE TO EAT PUKE!" Stanley screamed, grabbing the nearest attendant by the face and shoving his thumbs in the poor man's mouth.
With rough, twisting motions, he ripped. There was nonstop, incoherent screaming from both of them as Stanley started pulling the attendant's face off in long rubbery strips, cheeks first.
Luckily, Stanley's fit of barehanded bloodlust gave Corvin enough time to run back to his stall and swap out the defective puke-covered bowls for a proper one. He was wise not to stick around after that.
"What's this dish?" Hiram said.
The attendant who had been announcing things lied "faceless" on the ground, haven fallen from the stage. He was wheezing and squealing through sprained vocal chords.
"I see," said Donnovan, "What do you think of it?"
"I HATE PUKE!"
"Stanley. There's no puke on your dish anymore. It appeared to be some sort of sabotage..."
"I HATE SABOTAGE. SOMEONE FIND THE PUKE MAN SO I CAN KILL HIM!"
"We'll set the town guard on it, Stanley. For now, let's enjoy the next dish, alright?"
The judges settled in. It did immediately smell amazing- And it tasted amazing too. There was that soft semi-liquid crunch of congealed oil and breading covering the meat and potatoes, the marinaded bourbon meat expelling its subtle sweet and dirty flavors. It was at least clear why the Slug thought they'd assume it was a human by liking this food. It was hard to think of a human that wouldn't... Still seemed odd that the Slug could know Corvin's name and all that. Suspicious, even.
Donnovan: An exquisite presentation, and the best-tasting dish so far. Just when it started looking like this would be a kebab contest, this has rocked the entire foundation! The ingredients were all employed in a unique way, and most importantly, were delicious and indulgent.
Hiram: Exactly to my tastes. If I was ever cursed to be vegetarian, I'd eat this every day.
Stanley: IT DISGUSTS ME THAT ANY MISERABLE WRETCH WOULD DARE TO RAPE MY FOOD WITH HIS GUT FLUIDS BEFORE I COULD EAT IT. I WILL FIND THE MAN WHO DID THIS AND MELT HIM WITH MY OWN REGURGITATION.
Chet Chipman: 375/500
Captain Scurvy Greybeard 250/500
Dissatisfied Spectacle: 1/100
Furtive Vegetarian: 100/100 (1000/100, if he could.)
The Hermit Conniseur: 83/100
It was a tough act to follow, but Geoffrey managed without much fear. He had all the airs of an octopod on a mission, that much was for sure. The attendants brought the tortillas to the Wizards, and Donnovan stood up, calling down to speak to the one on the ground, "Which ones are these?"
"Hhhh.... HHHHhh..." The man wheezed in shock. Arterial gouts pooled on the concrete around him.
"Still that guy?" Hiram asked.
"The Liekeeper always reveals in detail what people are trying to say, but don't."
"Yeah. You think I don't notice you guys threatening to kill me all the time?"
"I LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY."
"So, these are mashed potato tortillas with bourbon-glazed pigeon," Said Donnovan, "They were made by Geoffrey the Octopus."
"I LIKE OCTOPUSES." Said Stanley.
"I think you'll find the plural is 'Octopodes'."
"CAN YOU HEAR ME THREATENING TO KILL YOU, DONNOVAN?"
Donnovan: Despite being a combination of ingredients I'd never heard tell of being in a tortilla, I rather enjoyed it. It was thoroughly pleasant in its unconventionality!
700/1000 (+50 Bonus)
Hiram: 'Sgood. Fish sauce was interesting, but the more glaze you add, the better.
700/1000 (+0 Bonus)
Stanley: I ENJOYED THE PIGEON. BUT THE TORTILLAS WERE FLUFFY, AND SO WERE THE POTATOES. THIS WAS UPSETTING TO BITE INTO. IT WAS FLUFF STARCH ON TOP OF FLUFF STARCH. BUT IT WAS THE CHALLENGE OF LABORIOUSLY DIGGING THROUGH THIS UBIQUITOUS MOUTH-FILLING FLUFF IN ORDER TO FIND THE FLAVOR THAT MADE THE EXPERIENCE COMPLETE. IT WAS LIKE THE DELAYED SATISFACTION OF CHOKING A STRANGER TO DEATH.
800/1000 (+400 Bonus)
Chet Chipman: 400
Captain Scurvy Greybeard: 400/500
Secret Rockwell: 410/500
Geriatrophobe Critic: 300/500
"I HOPE THE NEXT CONTESTANT KILLED SOME EVIL PIGEONS..." Stanley said.
"What do you mean?" Asked Donnovan, "By association, every contestant has already killed flocks of them."
"I DON'T KNOW..." Said Stanley, "IT SOMEHOW FEELS LIKE THEY DIDN'T KILL ENOUGH."
Hiram shrugged, "Don't see what the deal is 'tween you and pigeons..."
"YOU WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND."
It wasn't long before Heloise arrived, and Donnovan stood to his full height to lean and look at the Attendant. Finding he was quite unconscious by now, Donnovan decided he'd have to talk to the chef directly.
"What have you brought us?"
"Crêpe de récolte au pigeon et légume bourbon. Harvest crepes with pan-fried pigeon and bourbon root-vegetable mash. The condiments are a choice of tangy bourbon walnut-mustard, fresh sour cream and scallions, or a savory-sweet bourbon bacon-jam."
The corners of Donnovan's mouth upturned ever so slightly. He hadn't heard French since the day the Rifts opened and the psychic spider-people devoured New York. Whoever this was was either sporting a truly rare culinary education, or a filthy Canadian Spy.
"Very well. We shall try it and get back to you."
The taste was a subtle silent symphony of many complex but inviting features. A tour of the senses that started quietly with the first bite but ramped up in complexity and volume as it was chewed. The perfect stretchiness of the crepe, the rainbow of vegetables inside, giving way to the tasteful implementation of Bourbon...
Donnovan found himself on the verge of asking the Attendant for the participant's name, before remembering he was either dead or near it.
"Whoever that was has demonstrated excellent knowledge and control of the medium." Said Donnovan.
"The fuck's that mean?" Said Hiram.
"It feels more... Engineered than the other dishes, don't you think? Everything has its intention. It communicates, in a way."
"IT TASTES LIKE THE FEAR OF DESSICATED POULTRY ON A FOGGY AUTUMN MORNING."
Donnovan: This dish was a real standout. I love the artistry involved, there was thought and experience put into this dish, and it shows. And so many of my personal favorite vegetables, too!
Hiram: The main ingredients were prominent, but not overused. Somethin' I appreciate after eating bourbon-pigeons for an hour now.
Stanley: I FEEL DISTURBED ON A PLANAR LEVEL. SOMETHING SICKENS ME ABOUT THE IDEA THAT I MAY HAVE USED LOWERCASE LETTERS IN A PAST LIFE.
Captain Scurvy Greybeard: 350/500
~~8. Omo the Homo~~
The sound of sirens came echoing over the distance as a white van sped down the highway, pursued by Town Guard Interceptors. The van steered off into the market and sent the bustling crowds screaming again, crashing through stalls whenever it couldn't steer properly through the footpaths, until it came properly to the stage. The double-doors opened, and a fellow came out carrying platefulls of incomprehensible human remains, 2 by 2.
"Why must our contest always be interrupted by lunatics...?" Donnovan growled with exasperation.
"I HATE LUNATICS!" Said Stanley, as some sort of prostitute-based omelette with vaguely pigeon-shaped bits was set in front of him.
Hiram leaned in, giving his plate of ovaries a curious sniff, "... Wait a second, I think I know this bitch... Did you kill Loretta?"
"What!?" Donnovan flipped his dish over, not bothering to look at what else was on it.
"There's... Cocaine injections in this. The fuck did you add more cocaine for!?" Hiram shouted at the lunatic as he attempted to explain himself in an accent too offensively stereotypical to bear white man's description.
"CONDOMS! WHY ARE THERE CONDOMS EVERYWHERE!?" Stanley shouted again. The rage became unbearable, and he elected to throw the entire table off the stage.
Then there were cries of "FREEZE! DON'T MOVE!"
The Town Guard stepped out of their police interceptors and aimed their crossbows at the man, but Donnovan had other plans.
"No need to intervene, Officers. I'll handle this." Donnovan wrapped his hand around the lunatic's head. His fingers spread out like vast spiderlegs around the back of his neck and the top of his forehead.
There was no screaming, no bombastic noise as the spell did its work. Only the sound of dripping. Then the splattering noise of a running faucet, when first his eyes liquefied, then out of his ears, mouth, and empty sockets, a steaming black liquid began to flow. Eventually the madman's skin and flesh began to slough off before he became a wet, melting pile half-dripping off the stage.
"First hour's already been a fuckin' ordeal." Hiram shook his hooded head.
"You can say that again." Donnovan said.
"When'd I say it first?"
Stanley was no longer on the stage. He was currently turning several market stalls upside own.
~~~ The Final Judgement ~~~
When Stanley had been... Appeased, attendants replaced, and the Judge's stage properly cleaned and put back in order, they returned to their seats in order to consult with one another on the matter of the continuing competition. Three times in little over an hour, the great culinary bloodbath had been brought to a halt, by beast, then by saboteur, then by serial killer. The police were still trying to find the Saboteur so that they could be killed like the others, but until the mysterious vomitter is found... Well, the show must go on.
The other Wizards sat silently, and Donnovan stood to announce their decision,
"Chefs of Chopped. You have all competed valiantly before the citizens of Illinois, for their judgment, and ours. And we've gone over the score, and our feelings on each of the dishes you provided today. We've come to a conclusion. Amelia Earhart, please step forward."
Donnovan gestured to the airplane, and a small retinue of Guardsmen moved to escort the chef.
"Out of all the dishes, yours was... Underwhelming," Donnovan said, "It was uncomfortable to eat, and the process of making it caused a mess that only one of us liked!"
A crowd began to cluster ever-closer to the guardsmen, eager to see a contestant get Chopped, as most of them couldn't actually afford tickets to the Arena.
"For these faults..." Donnovan scornfully looked back on his nearly-unfortunate interaction with an airplane wing, "And others... We've decided to end your time here. In the competition, and on the planet. Amelia, you've been CHOPPED!"
Rockwell is merely a product of this cruel world.
Everyone asks "How is Rockwell so cute", but not "How is Rockwell"
The death scene and the Round II post will come tomorrow, hopefully. Right now I'm as the kids say, Pooped AF.
Also ya'll are gonna have to check your own scores to make sure you don't have any math errors, because we all know I'm not Math enough to notice them the first time.
When you realize your character is dead and the judges didn't even taste your food. :)
Didn't feel like the character was a good fit. It must have been some African in-joke I didn't get, but.
Do second chances exist?!?!?!?!
I shall wait and strategize, and come up with a more simple chef. Thank you oh great mod mizal, for believing in second chances *bows*.
The rules clearly state the answer, I believe
It seems that Rockwell went a bit...
*puts on sunglasses*
The new profile pic is fire!! 10/10 Stars!!!
If he keeps the performance and cooking skills at the level he is, or even higher, there's definitely a chance of him winning.
Though I guess the same could be said for the others, he's definitely got some competition.
Maya already gave her opinion.
also, I KNOW RIGHT LOOK AT IT
Adorable, but fierce. Thoughtful, but cunning. Friendly, but fueled by the vengeful fires of Gehenna to right unrightable wrongs.
Though he lives among giants, he carries the largest heart of all.
@mizal @Cricket @MadHattersDaughter @poison_mara @Camelon @simplesabley
Chefs, in light of these results, I'll be in contact to perform a quick inter-round interview with the each of you. Please be prepared to answer when I do, which could be anywhere from tomorrow to like 30 minutes if i'm feeling up to it or can't sleep.
That is all. Congratulations on making it to Round 2! Celebrate!
It could very well be your last.
Maria is drunken as hell. So she totally can try to flirt with you Tim
Would Tim like an interview with a new entry, La Llorona?
Let him always he made his speech in Spanish lol it could be hilarious after all la Llorona would only cry in Spanish
I'll mostly be talking about how the chefs feel about winning the round, opinions on the chopped chef, etc
If you survive next round, sure.
It wasn't long before Amelia was escorted to the Death Arena proper. Small fights between barbarians had been happening over the hour, but now wat the first big event. Now, the cooking contest was in the arena, not just the jumbotron.
The crowd roared as the chopped contestant was brought in. Rumor had it that the Cyclopean fowl that the Marquis had captured from the Ozarks would feature prominently in the arena today, and people were already calling for the woman to be fed to the monster.
And the people were in luck. The low rumble of chants and heckling became a roar of applause as Chet Chipman announced Amelia's entrance, "And so, we've arrived at the moment you've all been waiting for! The first Chef to be CHOPPED, Amelia Earhart, will be fighting to the death against our very own thanksgiving monster, the 200 pound beast coming in at almost 7 feet tall, the one and only: CLUCKY!"
As if on cue, a low rolling gobble sounded over the field. The creature sounded something like a brass band falling down stairs, and was about as loud. First, its huge bald head appeared around the corner, then its body. Step by cocky step, the tremendous dinosaur raised himself out of the locker room and trotted up to the field.
It heard the noise of the crowd and caused the masses to scream with its ferocious display of feathers- With the sheer bulk of its tail and chest, it looked to be the size of a semi truck. It dragged the tips of its wings along the ground to kick up dust as it surveyed the area it was placed in... Zeroing in on Earhart and glaring at her with its single cyclops eye.
Quite simply, there was no way Earhart had any means to slay this beast, and she braced for impact as the creature swung its head around, shaking the wattle off of its face like a gangster unsheathing a knife! And then... It stood, with its mouth open, gobbling loudly.
Amelia looked up to see what the fuck the Turkey was doing, and why he didn't just get on with it, but that was her first mistake. She witnessed her own death coming to her as a ball of red light grew in the dark recesses of the turkey's maw, before launching a beam of heat straight through her! The rapid heating caused her to burst into a cloud of gore and giblets like a hamster in a microwave, and the laser itself left a crooked trail of glass in the dust behind her. Then, the turkey turned toward the audience!
The Colosseum Animal Control Team sped out of the locker room in short order, filling the turkey with tranquilizer darts before it could fry any innocent civilians.
"Sorry guys! Sorry!" One of the lead CACT Officers pled with the screaming audience through the microphone, "We, uh... Didn't know turkeys could do that."
~~ROUND II HERE BEGINNETH~~
"So, what do you all like with your appetizers, guys?" Donnovan said, resting his hand on his chin.
"SALT." Said Stanley.
"Salt... Isn't a challenging ingredient..." Donnovan said.
"ENOUGH SALT IS."
"You're not going to like eating 5 dishes starring giant salt crystals, Stanley."
"I ALWAYS LIKE SALT. I AM SALT."
"We're not going to like eating 5 dishes starring giant salt crystals, so it's a no-go."
"How 'bout cider?" Hiram said.
"Did you just plan on getting drunk today, Hiram?"
Donnovan reached under his hood to massage the bridge of his nose, "I'll just... See what the hunters brought in for market today."
He snapped his fingers, "Attendant! Could you bring me a list of all the meats most commonly sold in the surrounding market this time of year?"
"Yes, milord. I have the statistics right here." This particular attendant was especially wary of being on the same stage as Stanley, and decided to make a paper airplane and throw to Donnovan from on the ground.
"Hm, yes. I think we have our ingredients. Or, at least two of them," Donnovan said, "Pauper's Crab and Garbage Bears."
"Cicadas and raccoons. The two most commonly eaten meats in Illinois these days. You think we can afford to kill cows and chickens all the time?" Donnovan said.
"I LOVE TO SLAUGHTER THE BUGS OF NOISE."
"Well, so does the common man."
"We gonna eat like commoners?" Hiram scoffed.
"Well, not if our chefs are up to the task of creating something good. Anything else we should add? We need two more ingredients."
"SWEET POTATO." Said Stanley.
"Cider." Hiram insisted.
"We can't have booze twice in a row. Isn't there something more interesting they can cook with?"
"We're not going to do cider."
"What else is there?"
"I KNOW A MERCHANT WE CAN TALK TO ABOUT THIS. HE SELLS AN INGREDIENT FRESH FROM THE WASTELANDS."
"Really, Stanley?" Donnovan was visibly surprised Stanley was contributing this much, "What does he sell?"
"I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT IS. I ONLY KNOW THAT WE CAN BUY LOTS OF IT FROM HIM."
"It's decided, then. I'll do the honors this time."
With a flourish of his hand, Donnovan pulled a rat out of his sleeve. It skittered off the table and lept onto the marketplace announcer, clutching onto his head and whispering forcefully into the man's ear using the human mouth on its belly.
When the town crier was done screaming and trying to claw the thing off of his face, he realized what he had to do and cleared his throat.
"CHEFS AND PATRONS, HEAR ME!" Called the announcer, still trying to wipe the feeling of rat off his ear, "THE SECOND ROUND WILL BE IN THE PREPARATION OF APPETISERS!"
A few market butchers were paid off by competition attendants to appear at the end of the food trailer, and so they did, bringing their supplies with them. One particularly excited merchant in fingerless gloves began excitedly stacking so many oddly-shaped cans...
"FOR THIS ROUND, THERE WILL BE FOUR NECESSARY INGREDIENTS!"
"A CAN OF... OCTOPUS?"
(Whatever creature is stuffed in this can is certainly shaped like an octopus. It has no eyes, and is almost certainly still alive. In fact, unless cooked for a long time, chopped into very small pieces, dried out, or set on fire, it refuses to die. The taste is somewhat reminiscent of octopus, but salty and crab-like. They often have four exceedingly long tentacles. The fluid they secrete and appear to have been canned in is also quite salty, and has a ginger-like lingering burn to it. When still alive, the appear to eat vegetable mass and grow larger...
This is why I haven't included more fantasy ingredients, those of you who were wondering.)
"USE AS MUCH OR AS LITTLE AS YOU NEED. BUT REMEMBER- THE GOAL OF THIS CHALLENGE IS TO MAKE THE INGREDIENTS WORK TOGETHER. YOU HAVE SIXTY MINUTES TO CONCOCT AND DISTRIBUTE YOUR CREATION."
@poison_mara @MadHattersDaughter @mizal @Cricket @Camelon @simplesabley
I don't like this. :~(
And I can't say I've ever heard of the ingredient OCTOP.
It's a wrap-around label!
It's ACTUALLY impossible to photograph the entire thing. I tried.
You're not fooling me. That can just says OPUS? !
What a musical ingredient. It should pair well with the singing Cicadas.
Octopus is one of my state most famous dishes, however, We have another way to deal with the octopus is different to yours can I use it ? Includes violence copper and coins.
Raccoon sausage with mashed potatoes and Pulpo with Crunchy Honey chilli Cicadas
Maria still has headaches, she still doesn't know how she has survived. I mean, grandma pidgeon is nice. But it wasn't as fancy as the fluffy cute hamster chef, for instance.
There is an octopus!!! Maria loves octopus. It is one of the most important dishes at home... MORE HOMEMADE RECIPES.
"COURIER, I NEED A WOOD MACE, A COOPER POT AND SOME CENTS!" Maria shouts to the Rascal slave the organization to help with the ingredients. Maria selects the juiciest morsels of the raccoon, the liver, fat salt and pepper, and the result of grinding in the mortar and pestle garlic, oregano, red chile and Smoke paprika.
Then she makes some raccoon sausages using the raccoon prepared intestines as casing.
Finally, the courier brings to her the ingredients and everyone looks intrigued by how she will deal with the Octocrab.
"You have to boil water in a Copper container and we have to plunge the animal on the boiling water and emerge them right after; that is what we call asustar the Octocrab. It means to scare them
After that, they are super pissed. So they lose a great part of their regeneration powers then the next part is super cool. SMASH THEIR BRAIN WITH SOMETHING MADE OF WOOD. Maria starts effusively hit the octocrabs she calls PULPO DIEEEEE!!!
After that, display the pulpo effectively die. She drops all the smashed octopus into the water with bay leaves. It doesn't need salt as it is salty already.
"I am silly! it needs coins. Is a tradition it says bring luck to people eating it."
Maria feels really happy thinking about home. So far beyond the big ocean.
Then, started with the sweet potatoes. She is not a great cooker like the others, so only cleaning them and tossing into boiling water with cayenne, garlic, and a little bit of the octopus water.
The sausages are already boiled, si is time to grill them.
"What about the Cicadas?" One of the public asks.
"Where I came from Cicadas aren't eaten. They are used to feed rodents and eat those. But I learned a Recipe in Mexico. Honey chilli Cicadas. It will contrast with the mashed potatoes.
Maria plummets the cicadas in a compound of honey, garlic powder and chilli powder and lets them five minutes there. After that, only need to fry them on oil.
Later finally the Pulpo is done. Maria chopping it thin like it were potato chips and use more oil and paprika. the cooked potatoes are peeled and mashed. So each dish consists of mashed potatoes put with one grilled racoon sausage, minced octopus and two cicadas as crunchy part of the plate.
She smiles to the public, happy with the fact for once in her life someone looked at her as more than a pair of boobs. Then sighs. The others are professionals who are used to this.
"But Maria still dreaming with her own Posada (inn) With public vocalists. Homemade food and people playing cards."
Pip, a wannabe food critic with three-and-a-half dedicated fans, begins the rounds by sampling Maria's dish:
"The plate is a bit messy in appearance, and I'm not sure it's an appetizer so much as a side dish, but the contrast of textures is great. I really like the spicy sausage - I saw her hand-grinding the spices for that earlier, and that's a rare touch in contest like this where everyone is rushing. Overall, the dish has a spicy-sweet profile and with a nostalgic, home-cooking feel. I'm not sure why the octopus was extra-oily - that part of the dish was my least favorite - and the mashed potatoes weren't the creamiest. But the crunchy cicadas, wow! The was a nice treat, like honey-chile' popcorn at the fair. Unfortunately, she admitted it was a ripped-off recipe - so not as inventive as I would hope. I give fifty-five points for creativity, out of a hundred; sixty-five for flavor, out of a hundred; and sixty for execution, out of a hundred. A bonus ten for that impressive display of octopus-brain smashing, and another ten because those cicadas were just so good, and ten for the use of a mortar and pestle. I award 210 points!"
Pip, the wannabe-food-critic, eyes his plate of canapés with excitement. "Pip here," he says to his equally amateur camera man. "I'm here at the Chopped II competition, sampling the food and giving my take! For those of you unfamiliar with my methods, I rate in three categories with a potential 100 points for each: presentation, that is, how it's plated and how everything looks; creativity, that is, how inventive and unexpected the dish was given the ingredients given; and execution - how does it all taste? Is it all cooked well? And so forth. All this out of a possible 300 points, but from time to time I might give bonuses for things of culinary interest or extreme cooking prowess, and such things could potentially be worth a couple of hundred points from me! I know my fans love good cooking, but they also love a good show!
I'm here trying Ethel's food now. She's taken a huge risk by serving three different dishes, but the plating is beautiful. Just look at these beautiful canapés, perfectly proportioned and garnished! But it's time to give them a taste. First, this caprese crostini with roasted cicada crumble. All the freshness of a caprese salad on a baguette! As delicious as it looks, though the caprese and that basalmic are the real stars here. The cicada provides a nice crunch, a good contrast to the mozerella, but the sprinkled crumbles comes off a bit more like a garnish."
Pip takes a sip of water, then moves on to the next. "Octopus tartar on Sweet Potato Chip Canapés - I am loving these! It's creamy, it's smokey, it's fresh and zesty - everything I could hope for! Using the sweet potato here instead of bread was inspired, and I like how it adds depth to the flavor. These are the most delicious few bites I've taken so far!"
Pip clears the flavor with a bit more water, then tries the last two canapés. "Lastly, we have these lovely peach raccoon-bacon canapés. The raccoon has a nice smokey flavor, and the sweet peach and cream cheese keep it from being too heavy. It's a tad saltier than I would expect from a savory sweet crepe, but it has a ginger-like nuance which is pleasing.
Overall, a full One hundred points for presentation, forty for creativity, and seventy-five for execution. But I just have to throw in an extra fifteen for her beautiful care in presentation and loving attention to detail, including the use of a mortar and pestle. I award a total of 230 points!"
Ingredients: Cicadas, raccoon, sweet potatoes, OCTOP, OPUS?, seasoned salt, celery, garlic.
Rockwell takes a moment to stare into the sunset, thinking about all he had lost.
He sighs deeply at the infatuation these judges have for meats, takes off his celebratory aviators and gets to work.
The sweet potatoes prove to be somewhat of a challenge to cut, given their size (the size of him!,) but he knew that obstacles like this were only natural for a hamster like him on this playing field.
And this playing field was now bloody, feathered and slippery, which made Rockwell's endeavors ever more challenging.
He had rather basked in the terror of the giant bird chomping up that human, even if he did dive for cover once he heard the terrifying clucking.
Regardless, Rockwell continues on with passion, and a newfound one at that. He did not expect to win Round One, but that was only the beginning (hopefully.) He thought of holding his children in his little hamster arms, tried not to weep salty tears into the food he prepared.
Enid, if you could see me now! he thinks.
He grinds up the cicadas and mixes them with seasoned salt. Rockwell figures the bugs will enhance the crunchiness of the fries and bring on a unique, particularly ominous and end-of-times flavor.
He drops the potato slices into a deep fryer, and is sure this time to make a larger batch, now that he knows he has adoring fans. They will certainly want a bite of food that has been prepared by his cute little hamster paws! (Maybe he might let some lucky passersby pet his fuzzy little head. Rockwell does adore head scratches!)
While the potatoes fry, Rockwell tends to the meat. He will make a Platter of Sweet Potato Fries seasoned with a Cicada Herb mix, fried Raccoon Bites with a Soy Sauce Dip.
Instead of shredding the raccoon meat, against his greater, vicious will, Rockwell saws it into biteable chunks. (He takes a gander on what exactly is "biteable" for humanoids. Their mouths are large, full of razor-sharp teeth, probably.)
The octopus? is an issue, especially for little Rockwell.
He decides to not kill it. It would take too long anyway and it has such cute, slimy, sticky little arms that Rockwell decides to use it in a different fashion instead. The ingredients only have to work together after all.
He makes a thick, gluten-certainly-not-free batter with chopped celery and garlic bits for the raccoon and batters up the horrific meat.
He deep fries the meat, removes the fries and seasons them with his peculiar Cicada mixture. These humans will eat anything that moves, he thinks. I best watch out, lest the next ingredient be hamster!
Suddenly, Rockwell is overtaken by flashbacks to watching his wife cry and plead and try to escape from the grasp of The Hand. Rockwell feels immensely guilty. What was he to do? He was small, young and terrified.
The sizzling sounds of the deep fryer almost sound like the haunting screaming of Enid.
Rockwell will go on, regardless of what lurks inside his tormented hamster soul. He did not save her then, but perhaps now he can save himself.
And save himself he must.
After another bout of dramatic posing and/or gazing off into the distance, Rockwell completes the dish. He pulls the meat from the fryer, arranges the fries and the raccoon bites on the plate in an attractive manner. Finally, he climbs up onto a peanut butter jar and pours the soy sauce into a cute little hamster-shaped serving dish.
By sparing the Octopus?'s life, Rockwell believes the Octopus? can serve the dish to the judges. Plus it is super cute and probably named Harrison McCraw.
Harrison McCraw is still a mysterious, eyeless creature who feasts on vegetable matter and grows. And she just gave him a plate of sweet potato fries, which are most definitely vegetable matter.
Adorable *now,* yes, very. Adorable if the possibly blind octopus trips or decides to sample the wears? Perhaps not so much...(On the plus side, the hamster doesn't seem to have made a lot of food, so it's not like the creature will have a whole lot to feast on.)
But now I want Sentinel and MHD to team up and make an adorably insane visual novel about this whole event.
There will just be more to love, of course!
I don't know if I could ever keep up with whatever goes on in that mind of Sent's.
Rockwell is handing out samples (and head scratches) to our dearest audience!
Pip, the wannabe food critic with three-and-a-half dedicated fans, slips into the already long line for one of Rockwell's samples. The samples are very tiny, but it is still likely they might run out before he gets any. But his fans demanded Rockwell! His adorableness was off the charts.
"Awwww." He found himself murmuring, in an almost-creepy unison with the rest of the crowd, as a little girl was allowed to scratch Rockwell's head.
While sometimes the little hamster seemed lost in thought, or moodily gazed toward the sky while customer's patiently waited, there was no denying he had a charisma that made you want to scoop him up and give him a hug.
Finally, it was Pip's turn to score a sample and a very quick pet before he was shoved back into the crowd by the next customer.
There were two fries and one small raccoon bite. "It's a little hard to comment on plating and presentation, since these are just samples, but I can imagine this would be a crowd pleasing appetizer good to share in a group if served in a restaurant. Fries might be a typical appetizer dish to make from potatoes, but I am please to report that these have a lovely texture that takes advantage of the sweet potato medium - crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside. The seasoning is good, a sort of herby salt. The piney, shrimpy Cicada highlights the inherent sweetness of the potato. The raccoon bite seems a bit over greasy and chewy - I suppose that's what happens when you fry an already tough and greasy meat - but the seasoning is good. This little hamster isn't just cute, he obviously knows how to cook! Unfortunately, there isn't any octopus in my sample, so I can't comment on that. A sixty for presentation, out of one hundred; forty for creativity, and eighty for execution. And fifteen because he's just so little and adorably adorable, so adorable...." Pip shakes his head to clear it. "In total, I give an extra 195 points!"
La Llorona wondering around heard rumors of a fabled hamster chef cooking for his dead cooks. This exited her, another person animal cooking for their children. She knew she had to befriend this hamster.
La Llorona silently floats through the audience until she reaches where all the continuous "AWWWS," and "HE'S SO CUUTE" were coming from. She pushed her way through the crowd, threatening to drain the blood out of an angry red-neck who tried to cop-a-feel.
Reaching the front, she could immediately feel the bustling, busy atmosphere change to a sorrowful peaceful oasis. She was stunned, a hamster chef cooking for his family, she felt empathy she had never felt before for such a creature. She knew that she had to help this hamster on his quest even if it meant sacrificing herself. Tears fell from her eyes at the sight of such sad emptiness. She had felt the feeling for millennia and immediately sympathized with him.
Immediately she knew what to do, technically not being a contestant until round three began she was an 'audience member.' She sampled the hamster's food.
The sweat potatoes blended perfectly with the cicada's to make a symphony of perfect harmony. The addition of the raccoon bites added and did not take away from the meal. It was like a low brass sound being blended to the pleasant thrill of a silver picallo. It was filled with happiness, and at the same time, a relentless sorrow; she felt his pain and rated the meal 100/100.
Dish: Racoon sweet-potato rolls with mock-ceviche salsa and a side shot of Mezco.
Heloise washed her hands for the fifth time put on a pair of gloves. There was time for one final check to ensure everything was prepared. Ovens heated, the spare food processor out, water boiling in a pot, and all surfaces polished to a shine and sanitized. And, a new feature: a small prep table in front of the cart with a large cutting board. It seemed the crowd was important as the judges, so as strange as it might feel, she needed to come out of the cart now and then. Having a secondary food prep space would help her do so without losing too much of her precious cooking time. In theory.
But now, it was time for the ingredients to be announced!
An unusual ingredient, at least for Heloise. On her Earth, they were a rare delicacy of the aristocracy in some parts, as well as a stable of several indigenous tribes. But then there had been a mercury scare, so they’d fallen out of favor with the fancier restaurants, like her father’s, before she could ever try one herself. Her dad once told her they tasted like pine-laced shrimp, but her mother had insisted it was more popcorny with a hint of asparagus.
A fine meat, if a bit strong and often greasy. Sixty minutes wasn’t quite enough time for a proper parboil and roast, so she’d have to be creative.
A perfect pairing for racoon! It was almost too bad this wasn’t the entrée round.
"A CAN OF... OCTOPUS?"
Hmm. Octopus would be great, although how to pair it with racoon was not immediately coming to her. Octopus? in a mystery can was less great.
As before, Heloise took her main ingredients first. She took a number of the cans, as she would want to make enough for sharing with the crowd, but only opened one to start. The wriggling creature inside did look rather like an octopus. How it was still moving was a mystery. She pulled it out with some tongs and put it on one of the empty cutting boards and poked at it. The creature wiggled and snaked out a tentacle in reflex, then grabbed one of the nearby sweet potatoes. It slurmphed it’s body over the potato and began to rock.
Interesting. Heloise sniffed at the can. There was less of a seaweed smell than she expected from canned seafood. The scent profile was more complex, lobstery, salty, even gingery. It might be perfect for a modified batch of her famous sal de gusano, just with octopus and cicadas instead of worm flesh!
“Well, then.” Heloise took a very large empty stockpot and filled it with water and lemon juice. She dumped the rest of the mystery octopi as well as the one she’d already removed, along with its sweet potato, into the lemon-water to soak. Five minutes there would help any residual smells from the canning leech out as well as keep the smell down when toasting later.
The rest of the sweet potatoes went into the boiling water to soften a bit, as they were far harder than normal potatoes, and she wanted the flesh a little pliable for the specific cuts she wanted to make.
She headed for the ingredients cart, a glimmer of what she was going to make forming in her mind. When she returned, she had agave leaves and stalks, pepper jack cheese, red onions, locoto peppers, some extra limes, avocado, banana passionfruit, grapefruit, and cucumber to add to the ingredients and seasonings she already had on hands.
Checking on the octopi, she noted that they’d managed to completely eat or absorb the sweet potato, somehow. They were all writhing happily, and looked just a little plumper and less desiccated than they had before. Hmm. Could these creatures eat so quickly? Well, that would save some time! Heloise tossed the agave into the pot, another sweet potato, a locoto pepper, and an onion. The creatures lobbed onto the food and pulsated.
“Enjoy your last meal.” She grinned, turning to the cicadas. After a rinse and dab with olive oil, they were tucked in the oven to toast along with a couple locoto peppers. They would add yet another complexity to the ultimate seasoning salt she was going to make. This, at least, was one area where she was confident. Thirty years of making varieties of sal de gusano hadn’t failed her yet.
But now, it was time for the racoon! This might be an area the crowd would be interested in, so she moved it all to the outside cutting table. First, she checked over the butcher job that had been done. They’d got the skin off, at least, and a decent amount of the fast off. But a close examination showed that they hadn’t removed most of the scent glands. The telling little kidney-bean sized nodules were still present in the legs. So, first things first, she removed those, digging into the flesh to get the whole gland out, and throwing the stinky things in a bucket.
Then, she began slicing the meat off the bone. A few onlookers seemed curious, but it was hardly something worth coming over to watch. Hmm.
Helois began to idly juggle with her knives in-between slices. Once all the meat she could scrape was off – roasting it off the bone would have been ideal, had there been time to do it properly – it was time to pull out the meat tenderizer. She added it to the three knives already in the air. This made for a far more entertaining routine. Throw, throw, flourish, throw, throw, pound! Throw, throw, slice, throw, throw, pound!
It seemed to be working – a crowd was gathering! But, why were they pointing behind her, and not at her display?
Someone screamed. Another person fainted.
Heloise put down the knives and looked over at her cart. Were those –tentacles spilling out of the pot and onto the oven? It seemed the only thing keeping the creatures from climbing out entirely was their dislike of the steam from the boiling pot.
Heloise leaped over the counter. “Oh no, you don’t!” She grabbed one of them and flopped it over to a cutting board. It was plump, the head the size of a cantaloupe, and gloriously nuanced in it’s fragrance. It would almost be a shame to kill it, but the flavors it could make…. “Ha! Hiyah! Yaaaah!” She sliced and diced and sliced and chopped and minced until it was only a pile of eight-inch cubes and the vibrating finally stopped. She moved the octopus’s flesh to a bowl and gave the other four the same treatment.
It would be a shame to waste all the extra ingredient, so she separated it into two batches. Half went into the oven to broil, the cicadas coming out. The other half she blanched in boiling water for two minutes, to kill any remaining bacteria or mystery parasites the strange meat may have picked up, then tossed in a large bowl mixed with her own blend of citrus juices – lime, grapefruit, and banana passionfruit. She’d leave that to marinate for a while until it was ‘cooked’ by the juices. The citric acid would break down the proteins, making the flesh firm a little and turn opaque, but the inside would feel and taste like raw sashimi.
Returning to her prepped and pounded racoons, now tenderized into thin, irregular sheets of meat, Heloise moved it back into the cart. She gave it a twice-over to ensure nothing had been sabotaged while she was distracted with the growing tentacle monsters.
But before she put it in the pressure cooker to sauté’ and steam, it needed seasoning.
It was time to make the worm salt! Only, there would be no worms in this batch. With a fresh pair of gloves, she scooped handfuls of cicadas and the broiled octopus into the food processor along with several dried locoto pepper, some crystalized ginger, and rock salt. She ground it until all mixed together, then took a sample of the seasoning. She added a couple more cicadas and mixed again. Sampling it once more, she almost cried in joy.
The vegetables the octopi had absorbed elevated the seasoning with hints of sweetness from the agave, and the cicadas lent notes of pine, to an overall palate that was spicy-salty with deeper nuances than she had ever managed before.
She wanted to try it out on oranges and everything else she could think of, but there wasn’t time for that. Rubbing the meat with the seasoning, she put it in the pressure cooker along with some diced pepper, onion, and minced garlic to sauté’ and steam, then got to work on the potatoes. They had softened nicely, but were not yet cooked through and still firm enough not to break, so she began to cut them into long, continuous strips. Each potato made one long ribbon. Cutting the thinner edges of the ribbon, she laid them each out on a board then cut the ribbons into fourths.
Next, she laid out simple third slices of pepper jack cheese at intervals along these ribbons. She put those on the grill for a bit – just a few minutes, to give nice marks to the outer flesh and a sweet roast to the outside, but not fully cook the potatoes just yet.
While the raccoon finished cooking, it was time to make the mock-ceviche salsa. Heloise put on a pan of diced red peppers to fry a bit, then sampled a bit of the marinating octopus to be sure that it was ready. Tender, with layers of sweetness and spice elevating the light flavor. She strained the juice out and moved the octopus to a large bowl. Red onion, celery, avocado, and cucumber were added to the mix, diced small, almost brunoised, along with a drizzle of sunflower oil and a bit of the sal de gusano. She’d have to come up with a better name for it, though, since the main ingredients had changed. It was cicada-octopus salt now, not worm salt. Sal de cigarra, perhaps, to keep its Spanish roots?
But this mock-ceviche was also to be a mock-salsa to use as a garnish. Rather than tomatoes, diced locoto peppers and the blackened red peppers were mixed in to give it more body.
She removed the potatoes from the grill, but there was a still a little time before the racoon was done. Heloise dove into her own private stash for a few bottles of Mezcal, an agave based alcohol. She poured it out into little shot glasses and lined the rims with her Sal de cigarra, garnishing with optional limes. It would be the perfect pairing.
Now, to put everything together! The racoon was removed, now falling apart in tender threads. She forked it onto the cheesy potato ribbons, then rolled each one up into an appetizer roll, baked for a couple more minutes, then plated it alongside the shot of Mezcal. Next came the mock-ceviche mock-salsa, scooped atop the roll, then garnished with celery leaves and slivered onion.
That was just enough time to set out small containers of sal de cigarra on each plate, for those who weren’t afraid of the extra heat or wanted to sample the salt on its own.
It looked like a few crowd members were already eyeing the salt-rimmed shot glasses of alcohol, so Heloise announced she was finished.
“Racoon sweet-potato rolls with mock-ceviche salsa and a side shot of Mezco. Get yours here, and try my famous sal de cigarra here!”
Lol! I meant eighth-inch. I have got to start proofreading a third time.
"Is that vegetarian raccoon? It is, right? It's soycoon?"
Pip heads over to Geoffrey's booth. "A real treat here, folks. Geoffrey's cooking methods are unlike most, since he has so many extra appendages to work with! He's real smooth in the kitchen. And just look at this plate - a hauntingly beautiful spiral of cicada wings, with mini-toothpick kebobs of sweet potato, raccoon, and cicada all of which appear to be coated in his signature octopus puree. But it's time to try it!" Pip takes a couple of the mini-skewers, trying one all together and another with each piece separately.
"All together, this works pretty well. The sweet potato adds a creamy sweetness to the raccoon and the cicada a bit of a crunch, with a sort of rosemary-shrimpy undertone going on. The octopus sauce is almost like a lobster sauce, it also gives it a nice creamy element. I felt like it could have used something a little acidic and perhaps a little more seasoning on the raccoon and cicada to tie it all together, but it's an effective kabob. Unlike some of the other dishes I've sampled today, the ingredients were all married into one cohesive appetizer.
"Separately, I thought the cicada was nice. Blanching it was a good call - the inside was tender and succulent but the carapace was just firm enough for a nice contrast. It had a crabby flavor, enhanced by the octopus sauce. The raccoon was just a bit too chewy for me - raccoon takes some work to get tender, and there didn't seem to be much seasoning here beyond the interesting octopus sauce. The sweet potato was very effective, even as a simple soft cube - a lot of care was taken here with the flavors and the cubes were melt-in-your-mouth but just-firm-enough not to mush on the toothpicks. Out of my general possible hundred points each for presentation, creativity, and execution, I give Geoffrey a one hundred for presentation, seventy for creativity, and seventy-five for execution. I also award an extra 50 points for the sheer artistry in using the cicada wings as part of the plating. In total, 295 points!
I like how Post-apocalypse bunker Gower is reading all the highlights of the show in the paper. How he gets an early edition, let alone a new paper at all, is a mystery...
That was epic. Especially the part with the octopus carrying that poor woman's severed leg through the crowd. Oh wait, I read that wrong! He probably hacked the tentacle off to free her, not the leg off through the tentacle to free her...
Oh well, my head canon is still the octopus swinging her bloody leg through the crowd as a bludgeon while seeking new veggies to devour.
Pip, the wannabe food critic, finally comes to Corvin's stall. "Returned," might be more accurate, as he had spent some of the cooking hour as so many others had: watching Corvin's epic octopus chase.
"Welcome back!" He said to the camera man, hoping their uploaded video of part of the chase would earn him another half-fan, or maybe even a whole one. "When we last left Corvin, he had chased a growing octopus through the crowd, an epic struggle which ended with the monster flying, on fire no less, into the Arena of Death. But it cost him a lot of time - did he manage to play in time?"
The old video camera pans to the plates set out. "I'm pleased to say, he did, and more so! These are awfully generous plates for appetizers, enough to share, but everything smells good. Let's try one of the stuffed crabshells, first." Pip first pops the cicada into his mouth, then scoops some of the roe and filling in while still chewing.
"Wow, some great flavors here! I especially love the purple bell peppers - that isn't an ingredient you see every day, and how it captures the essence of seafood while maintaining a fresh creaminess. There was a stronger flavour underneath that threatened to overwhelm it at all, possible something from the raccoon, but the egg and cream kept it just light enough it stayed in balance.There are a lot of different textures going on here, pasty, pulpy, crunchy, and I'm not sure they all work together perfectly, but I'm really glad it wasn't all just pureed together. Pretty good.
"The sweet potato spiral is lovely, definitely a cut above your typical potato chip or fry. Some real artistry went into this sort of detachable chips. The rosemary is a nice transition from the seafood appetizer to the last dish, the raccoon chop on sweet potato mash. I liked that it added another level of height to the tray, a nice little touch, there.
"This last one is more like a side dish. The down-home potatoes are a chunky fluffy mash, exquisitely executed, with a sweet-herb profile. The meat-chop shows a mastery of execution: rare on the inside, charred on the out. I have to point out that the chop was set into the potatoes vertically, again adding an element of interest.
"Seventy for presentation, out of a hundred; Fifty for creativity; Seventy-five for execution. But, we all saw that amazing chase, his heroism in slicing off that tentacle, his acrobatic leaps, the flaming octopus of doom soaring over the walls of the Arena! And, did he just ask for a new can or grab some extra octopus from one of his competitors? No! He showed fearless dedication in recovering his missing ingredient and insuring that octopus would make it into his dish. A two hundred point bonus for his entertaining feats! In total, I award 395 points!"
After the choppening of Miss Earhart by the laser-infused gullet of Clucky, Chet Chipman had made his way onto the set. Aside from the commentary and the adding of hype to a gladitorial death match, one of his obligations was to check-in with the chefs during the short break in between matches. He looked into the camera following him and spoke into his microphone.
"Hello, our faithful viewers! It's me again, your Caster... Uh... Chet Chipman! Yes! Here I am, the place where all the magic happens, in a more literal manner than the usual one I'm used to, and we're about to have a quick word with each of your contestants. Upon futher thought, I have absolutely no idea how I'll talk to the ones that don't speak, but that's above my pay grade. But I think I know a solution. HEY, YOU!"
Chet, after halting the camera following him, approaches a splindly looking servant that is particularly on the verge of pissing his garments, and then proceeds to place the sidearm on his hip under the peon's chin, getting up in his face.
"Get me a telepath. You people have those in this place, right?"
"A-A W-What? I D-D-D-"
"D-D-D-DID I STUTTER?! Find me someone who can communicate with our non-speaking chefs. Can you do that for me? Or do I need to find someone else who can?!"
Chet pulls back the hammer on his weapon, and the peon finally crosses the verge and is now a pants-pisser.
"NO, I GET IT! RIGHT ON IT!"
Chet lightly pushes the peon with the barrel, and the man starts sprinting towards the other staff. The caster uncocks the hammer and sheaths the big iron back onto his hip, calling to the servant as he runs in his soiled fabric.
"A telepath, a translator, someone who speaks fucking octopus, JUST GET ME AN INTERPRETOR!"
After he was finished, he returns to the camera while it was panning over the set during his chat and only catching him in the background, and speaks into the microphone.
"Right, where was I... Oh, right. Interviews. Let's get started!"
Chet approaches Maria, looking much less appealing in person and also extremely hungover. She appears to be on the verge of puking. How she managed to go from extremely wasted to extremely hungover in the span less than half an hour is beyond him, but so are many other things in this place. Nonetheless, he begins his questioning:
"Hello there, Miss Cabeza. How are you feeling, surviving the first round?"
"My head hurts... I had too much Bourbon. But I am really looking forward to the new challenge."
"Yes, usually, the contestants don't consume the ingredients... at least not as much as you've had. What are your thoughts on Miss Earhart getting Chopped?"
"Ah, you are talking about the flying lady? No idea really I was talking with that handsome blond guard. But I am sure how was her name, Amelia? Sure she suffered a lot."
Looks like he'd be needing that translator sooner than he thought.
"Right, well, that's incredibly apathetic... How do you feel your chances for the next few rounds are?"
"Well, I don't want to show my strategies to my rivals."
Maria smiles with a knowing grin, the corner still leaking with vomit that can reliably be related to her hangover and nothing else.
"But I love traditional homemade recipes and local products. More in a city so big and exciting like this one. About my chances, I am confident but all my rivals are tough and will be difficult to win."
"Quite. Your opponents seem incredibly skilled against your home-style cooking. There's even ones that are skilled in home-style cooking. Now, if you don't mind me asking, What would you wish for if you won?
"I don't want anything fancy I will love create an Inn and make my homemade food. That and provide entertainment to the city."
Maria smiles, this one less incriminating and more hopeful.
"But with a new life of freedom I have enough"
"What a simple wish. Good luck, Maria."
Chet leaves the woman to her hangover puking. Needing a more pleasant interview, he approaches Ethel, the camera panning over.
"Hello, Miss Monroe. How are you feeling now that the round is over, being one of the surviving chefs?"
“Oh, I’m feeling just wonderful! The judges seemed to love my food which just does my old heart good”
"That does indeed sound pleasant. On a less so note, do you have any thoughts about Miss Earhart getting Chopped?"
“Young people these days! They think that being flashy is all it takes. She nearly took out one of our esteemed judges even! I am pleased that our judges and audience have such class and excellent taste to pick her as the obvious loser of the round."
"Yes, her performance was over-the-top, but her food was less so. How do you feel your chances are for the coming rounds?"
“Oh, well I’m not quite sure. Everyone is just so talented. I was even bested by a ra- I mean hamster! He’s just so... adorable... yes that’s it, adorable! I have my work cut out for me!”
This is where Chet could tell the strangeness was kicking back in.
"... Right. Well, if you don't mind me asking, what would you wish for?"
“My wish? Why I would wish for my grandchildren to be alive again. I’m terribly lonely, you see. No one to cook for at home. That’s why I’m having so much fun here. So many... nice people.”
"I see. A nice wish. Thank you for your time, Ethel. Good luck."
Chet and his cameraman left the side of the old woman. He looked around for a chef that wasn't busy, only to look down and see Rockwell Balsamo, wearing a pair of oversized sunglasses as he leans against his food cart. The translator was still nowhere in sight, but Chet could handle this one.
"Okay, uh... I'll try to translate for Chef Rockwell. I'm a little rusty, but I think I can communicate."
He takes a knee and moves the microphone away, talking to Rockwell in his native language.
"Squeaky, uhhh, Squeak Squeaker... Squeakin? (Hello, Chef Rockwell. How are you feeling, surviving the first round?)"
A pair of oversized sunglasses hang in his little paw as he gazes into the sunset. Tranquil, at least. He might be worried too. He didn't really expect to win this round.
After a moment of no response but the hamster being in what seemed to be catharsis, Chip spoke to the camera:
"He appears to be exhausted. Maybe even worried. Let's try something else:"
He returns to speaking to Rockwell:
"... Uhh, Squeakity Squeak... Squeakin? (What are your thoughts on Amelia getting Chopped?)"
He shakes his head.
"It seems he's at a loss for words over Miss Earhart's death. Or, just has no particular opinion on it. Pretty silent. Next question:
"Squeaky Squeaker Squeakity Squeak? (How do you feel your chances are in the round ahead?)"
Rockwell squeaks twice, almost as if to say, "Whatever may happen will happen." But he clenches his paw in a hearty fist, which might mean otherwise.
"He says 'Whatever Happen Will Happen'. I'm unsure if he means he's leaving it to fate or something else. But he looks determined, for sure.
"Squeakity Squeak-Squeak. Squeaker Squeakity Squeakin? (You are by far the smallest contestent we have. Do you think this gives you a disadvantage when it comes to preparing food?")
Rockwell lowers his eyes, seemingly offended by that statement. He's made it this far, hasn't he? If anything, it has been very much an advantage.
"... Squeaker Squeak Squeakin, Squeakity Squeakity Squeaker. Squeakin Squeak Squeakity? (That being said, you scored highest among the chefs in the first round. Do you have anything to say to the judges, or the spectators that got you so far?)"
He takes a bow, blows kisses from his little hamster nose.
At this very moment, a collective "Awwwwwwww" can be heard emanating all the way from the arena.
And while the support had been incredible, Rockwell won't ever forget his dead wife and children, and how much they meant to him. That's why he is here, after all.
And it is at this very moment that Chet notices the look of pure loss in the hamster's little eye. He has seen that look many times. But he decides not to mention that to the crowd.
"To everyone who's helped him get first place in the first round: that was for you. Rockwell's size will not dissuade him from winning. Now, final question: What will his wish be?
"Squeakin Squeak, Squeak Squeakity Squeaker? (If you don't mind, what would your wish be if you won?)"
He draws a heart with each of his little hamster paws.
At this very moment, a collective "AWWWWWWWWWW" can be heard from the arena, as well as a very audible "HOLY SHIT HE'S JUST SO GODDAMN CUTE TAKE ALL MY POINTS ALREADY".
"Well, there you have it. Chef Rockwell Balsamo's wish involves love. Wholesome. Let's move on before we contract diabetes."
Chet is about to stand, but pauses for a moment, thinking his actions over. Quickly and off the mic, he leans back over to Rockwell.
"... Squeak Squeakin. (I'm sorry for your loss.)"
He then quickly stands and leaves the hamster behind. Chet takes himself and his camera over to Corvin, the other fan favorite and sabotage survivor. He looks visibly irritated, possibly from the stress of both the pressure to create a good meal and the fact that there are actively people working against him.
"Chef Blackwood. How are you feeling, having survived round 1 and beating out your sabotage attempt?"
"Man, after all that I feel like I am not in the mood to have a mike shoved in my face, but I guess just add that as one more bit of bullshit I've got to put up with today. Anything else?"
Wow. What a dick. Chet had half a mind to whip out his piece and blast this fool. And back where he was from, he'd be fully justified. But no, they just had to have a rule here where he can't harm contestants. His gut was right, fuck this guy.
"So what are your opinions on Miss Earhart getting Chopped?"
"You know what? It's weird but honestly, with everything else that's happened I've barely given her a thought. I wasn't really paying attention to whatever stunts she pulled with the plane, but obviously this is a serious cooking competition, not an air show. I heard people complaining she was putting the spectators at risk so it's just as well to get her out of here, I guess. The only idiots getting killed are supposed to be the contestants."
Reasonably, anyone with two brain cells to rub together (which is roughly a fourth of this Chopped show's audience) is starting to see a pattern with this question.
"How do you feel like your chances are for the coming rounds?"
Corvin shrugs off the question.
"You know I really don't like making predictions on camera, that's like just asking them to come back and bite me later. So must depends on the ingredients or what more craziness happens in the meantime..."
Corvin grimaces at the thoughts of what just happened, and what might be to come.
"I just watched a man get his face ripped off right in front of me, you know? And then that....Slug thing... Not to mention there's a mad vomiter running about, and that guy that killed all those prostitutes that got...liquified, or whatever happened to him. I didn't see that part, I was watching the hamster."
Corvin shakes his head in utter shock and disbelief.
"Shit's crazy, man."
After a moment, Corvin straightens himself out and likewise straightens his clothes, composing himself before speaking again.
"But, I'm still in the game. My chances are as good as anyone's here and it's not bragging to say I'm a better chef than at least a few of them....if I lose it's not because they're any better, it just means I fucked up somehow, you know?"
Chet's hand slowly moves away from his gun. Maybe he was just being a dick because he was stressed. He decided to give the chef a second chance.
"Well, that being said, you scored about 115% without using one of your two bonuses. Do you have anything specific to say to the spectators or the judges?"
"Yeah, I do think saving the bonus was the right move there. Just plain good cooking, no gimmicks. The first round ingredients didn't need any more than that. As for what else I want to say...uh, well no offense but I think I'd better keep that to myself."
"Fair enough. Do you mind sharing what your wish might be if you won?"
"it's a bit of a long story, but my world has this little 'cursed to eternal darkness' thing going on. So I'll be wishing for a return of daylight first of all. I'm really digging what I see of it on this world, everything else aside. Praise the sun!"
"I see. Thank you for your time, Corvin. Good luck."
Chet and his camera left the contestant, moving on to what might be the biggest challenge of them all: Geoffrey.
Luckily, that telepath he'd asked for had arrived just in time. She appeared to be similar to the normal peons (shaved head, patched garments, slightly beaten), but this one had a collar with glowing runes etched into it. Probably some sort of suppressant. It didn't matter, it just mattered that they were here.
"I'm so sorry for the wait! I was-"
"Yeah, Yeah, don't care, can you translate octopus?"
"... Um... Yes."
"Cool. Translate this interview for me."
The telepath nodded, and Geoffrey seemed to understand as she placed a palm on his body. She nodded back to Chet, and Chet began his first question.
"Hello, Geoffrey. How are you feeling, having passed round 1?"
The Telepath spoke in Geoffrey's place, almost immediately.
"Pretty good so far, although it could be better. I'll be sure to keep adding garnishes."
"A sound strategy. What are your thoughts on Miss Earhart getting Chopped?"
"Better her than me. The loud airplane flying over everyone made me a bit nervous too. Still, it would have been good if someone with more sanity had gone first, since her losing was probably inevitable."
"She was definitely... something. How do you feel your chances are for the coming rounds?"
"Well, I was paying attention to what the other contestants had done and how the judges liked that, so hopefully that helps. Still, I am not sure always what foods should go together beyond what I have seen before, and some of the other chefs have a lot more experience than I ever will."
"That is an... Accurate description. If you don't mind me asking, what will your wish be if you happen to succeed?"
"I'd ask for a burial with proper grave goods when I die. All the things I had stored up were at my home planet, and I'm getting old"
"... Oh. Well, that's... Realistic. Well, good luck, then, Geoffrey."
The telepath released her link with the octopus, thereby ending possibly the most normal interview Chet's had so far. And it was with an octopus that couldn't speak. As the telepath was leaving, Chet stopped her, leaving his camera behind again
"Ah, ah, ah, hey. I'm going to need you later, for more interviews. Will you be available?"
"Cool. I'm sure that you don't need to read my mind to understand just how disappointed I'd be you weren't."
After readjusting his pistol for added effect, Chet returns to his camera, which had been panning over the other chefs like before, and moved on to his final and, quite possibly, strangest interview: Heloise.
"Hello, Chef Ducas. How are you feeling about passing the first round?"
"Good, good...I've been doing streetfood for the Lizard-people of Vix’ni-Aldru for decades, so I was in my element with the qualifier. My nerves did get to me for a bit; there was a lot more blood and noise than I expected, and some crazy happenings out in the crowd, but I tried to tune it out and just focus on making great food. It's nice to be on the other side of it, alive, without my face melted off or ripped to shreds."
"... Riiiiight... So what are your thoughts on Amelia Earhart getting Chopped?"
"She shredded blood and guts and feathers all over the audience. If I hadn't snapped the awning in time, my own food prep would have been ruined. Her horrible cooking aside, her methods were crass and disrespectful to a noble art. If that Giant Turkey hadn't already fried her, I would have volunteered myself to stuff her with nettle and spice, roast her alive, and carve her up with my least favorite knife for Thanksgiving Dinner."
"... Riiiiiiiight... How are you feeling about, uh... Your chances in the coming rounds?"
"Reasonably confident, at least for the next few rounds, but it's hard to say. I didn't get a chance to sample all the other dishes. It does look like there's some tough competition. Corvin's nests were creative, and while I didn't get to taste Rockwell's food, the audience seemed to be raving over it. But I think I've got the training and the drive to make it to the end."
Huh. A normal response. Unexpected.
"If you don't mind me asking, what would you wish for if you won?"
"I guess it doesn't have to be a secret. I seek the Ultimate Flavor, one that will satisfy Lexur'iga-serr'roth, He Who Devours All in the Dark, and halt his buffet of the Infinite Realms. I don't think the Ultimate Flavor is something one can wish up directly, unless it can - and that would save a lot of time and universes from being eaten - but three powerful wishes would go a long way towards creating it. Perhaps a replenishing ingredients cart including rare and exotic items, a fancy, spacious kitchen, and a staff of competent chefs to do my bidding. But, really, I don't truly know yet what the Ultimate Ingredient really needs for it to be brought into the multiverse. I think each round will bring me closer to the answer, even help refine the question. What is the Ultimate Flavor, and how can it be made?"
Aaaand back to the strange stuff. Oh well, Chet's finished anyway. Just roll with it.
"A very... Unique wish. Good luck, Heloise."
Chet quickly made his way out of the stage area, making his way back to the arena. He looks back towards the camera and gives a final word.
"Well, there you have it, folks. These are the current thoughts of our chefs. Likewise, I'll be back at the 30 minute mark, and at the end of Round 2. Until then, stay tuned to these Chefs cook! Trust me, they're not going anywhere."
Chopped II: La Llorona
I won't make a meal until my character is approved.
Sex: Ghost can't get it on (sorry)
Bio: Alessandria Gonzalez was a pretty woman. Tall, blue eyes and blonde hair looking nothing like anyone in her very Hispanic family.
She was so beautiful that she attracted the attention of a young Spanish conquistador who was of upper rank from her. They fell in love; soon she was a mother, a good one at that, protective smart and beautiful.
But her husband was the opposite. Once he married her, he seemed to realize that she wasn’t a Spaniard like him. He got drunk and abusive and started hiding her children from her. He had not allowed her to see the children in a few weeks, and she was fed up. They had a massive argument ending up with her husband lifting her by the throat and taking her down to the Rio grande. At the bustling river, he stared her straight into her blue eyes and said four terrible words, “I found the kids.” He then pointed at two kids trashing in the middle of the river, barely holding on to a floating log. He released Alessandria and laughed maliciously.
The mother in Alessandria came out as she swam ferociously towards the kids forgetting that she was in a white silk dress. The dress was pulled down by the water, and so was an adrenaline-fueled Alessandria she fought the current, but eventually mother nature won. The last thing she witnessed as she thrashed wildly in the water was her kids disappearing under the river’s surface.
Legend says that only a fulfilled spirit could move on to the afterlife, and Alessandria, even to death, was still searching for her kids. Her soul was the definition of unfulfilled, somehow a ghostly part of Alessandria lived on. Her beautiful tan face turned to an unearthly pale white, her blue eyes transformed into a pale blank white — blood-filled salt-water tears running down her face forever. Her beautiful blond hair morphed into a dark colorless black that seemed to radiate hatred. The wrath of a mother had taken over her body, but there was still love inside.
That day Alessandria didn’t die; she evolved to something better, faster, and scarier. She was different, determined; she was La Llorona. It was said she roamed the streets searching for her kids in the pale darkness, but she didn’t. She was smarter, she littered the town with candy set irresistible traps and even made a lair in the island of the dolls. Every full moon, she would roam the streets, searching for her kids, screaming,
“AY MIS HIJOS.”
Maybe the power of her love was too dominant, so it teleported her to another dimension, or perhaps a careless mage from Illinois angered the gods by killing an African serial killer, who enraged opened a hole to a new dimension. Who knows? All that is known is that La Llorona was teleported to a new dimension, one full of octopuses, parasitical slugs, hamster chefs, mages, and more pretty Hispanic women.
She was teleported into a contest a cooking contest.
If there was one thing La Llorona loved, it was cooking. She smiled for the first time in 1111111111 years. Delighted, she signed up immediately; if there was anything in the world to take her mind of looking for the kids, it was a cookie. Her flawless pales skin regained color; her pale white eyes turned blue again, her blood-red tears dried up.
She was ready for Chopped.
The woman weeps for her lost children,
Each day she seeks, but cannot find.
What is lost she tries to take,
But drowns them for they just remind.
Through time and space she has now wandered,
New solace found in certain death.
Busy hands and sweetened treats
Enliven her to almost-breath.
That was beautiful.
She's from another universe where civilization started before this universe probably?
It'll be approved next round when there's another dead person. The judgement rounds are really a herculean labor when there's this many people.
Can Maria create a Cantina karaoke for her and the other participants and her sexy blond guard? Maria gets really worried and sing and having people helps.
I don't see the harm in it, I suppose.
I assumed she got wasted (or pretended to?) as a 'cover' for the vomit stench, since she couldn't sucessfully escape.
I actually acknowledged this inconsistancy in my post
I myself explained it as "rift magic oooooo"
I flirted with that guard in my first dish when I get drunk Maria doesn't get well alcohol the good part she gets out the hangover as soon as she enters the state. It is the rift that bring her to America from Spain I don't know. She is 100% team, blonde guard. She calls him big D.
The Karaoke is because she loves to sing and dance and drink so The Karaoke could be a great opportunity to have all chefs in one place and that way help narrators to interact characters due are all in the same place. Maria dream is Have an Inn so have sense. And the place could be of use even when Maria dies. Just a idea.
Maria has noticed that in This civilized world, they don't know what a tapa is. And their concept of appetizers is smaller bites, more stylish and posh that at home.
So She Big D and the Courier will fix that to explain this civilized world What a tapa is.
She goes where the public is with lots of alcohol and her appetizers.
And offers one drink and one plate. Explaining.
"In old Spain, Inns gave food to drinkers to they have more space for more booze. Like places weren't clean in medieval times they put the plate over the drink to avoid any insect of nasty stuff like dirt enter the beverage. Tapa means lid in Spanish."
"So, this is what is an appetizer is in Spanish the plate is bigger to cover the drink and allow people to drink more alcohol without end wasted. Maria Smiles to everyone. My dream Is Making a nice Spanish Inn with music and tapas. " SO WHO WANTS TAPAS BOOZE AND FIESTA...DANCING TIMMMEEE!!!"
All of them started to share the alcohol and the food in the public. She smiles happily with the fact makes poor citizens happy with her food. It also has the power to make her remember home.
Maybe after dead here she could return home.
Yes, tapas is a exclusively Bar or cafe stuff in Spain. Going of Tapeo is your equivalent going to a pub or going to a bar with friends. You don't have to drink alcohol to have one. You just have to drink something. We don't have the concept of appetizer rest of world have tapas are small dishes in size but are not something different from normal dishes. and there are free, the weird thing that they go export to America aren't tapas.
Is there any chance rounds could be spaced out a little more? E.g. have the 24hr cooking contest Tuesdays, allow people to review Wednesdays, judging Thursdays, Death posted Friday, Intraround interview conducted with everyone over the weekend and posted Monday, etc. Something like that.
It's very fun, but it's also a bit of a breakneck pace! I don't think the Interview even got posted before this round began. Thanksgiving is also coming up next week.
Yeah, I've been thinking of officially extending the deadline to tomorrow afternoon. Or really just tomorrow in general, with a break thanksgiving week. I would highly encourage everybody involved to not take this particular time limit very seriously, considering it was posted at a weird time and most of the participants probably spent a not-insignificant amount of potential writing/planning time sleeping
Doodled with love :~)
So great! Maria is a sexy chef. And Corvin and Ethel looks so annoyed, it's beautiful. Geoffrey and Rockwell are "bonding," how cute! I love that the three wizards have so much personality. I'm assuming the frazzled one with knife and fork is Stanley?
In fact, I was thinking about it Mizal. And I think we have to do A collaborative story from it or something like that could be cool. You have all my permission to do that and if you need extra stuff tell me as I will like help.
Sure! Sounds interesting.
Ya make sure to have a tidbit with OMO the Homo
I'm very interested in this