Words cannot express my gratitude to everyone who was involved in the Casserole Party Monday night at The Brooklyn Kitchen. Thank you to the 44 teams, the judges, the sponsors, the band, the volunteers and to all 115+ people in the room who helped us raise more than $1,100 for the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen. Oh, and to Mo Scarpelli for taking these wonderful pictures.
Camille Ford (“Food Wars”), Corey Henderson (URDB.org) and Ann Kansfield (the Greenpoint Reform Church & Soup Kitchen) all agreed to judge. My hat goes off to them for each tasting at least 20 casseroles before deciding on the winners. And for doing it in style. None of them showed up in sweat pants.
While the judges deliberated, the fantastic five-piece string band organized by Charlie Shaw played, everyone drank pale ale and pilsner that was lovingly donated by the Brooklyn Brewery, and the line formed around the casseroles.
We ate, and ate, and ate some more.
After everyone had their fill (but before we announced the winners), we decided to get down to serious business and set some casserole-related world records with the Universal Records Database (URDB). We had the first documented occasion of “most casseroles in the room at once.” But we wanted something more exciting.
I asked if anyone would like to attempt “most casseroles tasted in one minute.” Two people volunteered.
Noah Berland (team: Jewish Breakfast) made a noble effort, first setting the record at 25. He may very well have set a different record along the lines of “most casseroles tasted in one minute using a combination of chop sticks and a spoon.” That is still TBD by the officials at URDB, who documented everything and videotaped Noah’s masterful, if messy, feat.
After going through the line (at least) once (that I know of), Rob Blatt (team: The Blatts) stepped up to try and beat Noah’s record and even offered to donate one dollar for every casserole he tasted in that minute to the soup kitchen. I challenged others to join him, and before he began, five other people had committed. Rob tasted a whopping 30 casseroles in 60 seconds, which means he not only set a new world record with the Universal Records Database, but earned $180 for the soup kitchen doing it. Here’s video proof.
But the Casserole Party is more than just an excuse to over-indulge in cheesy, baked deliciousness (right?) — it’s a fierce competition. So, without further ado, I present the winners of the 6th Annual Brooklyn Casserole Party:
3rd Place: Amber Marlow Blatt and Robb Blat (team: The Blatts) for their classic two-cheese elbow noodle casserole, mixed with stuffing and topped with bacon and potato chips.
2nd Place: Biana Bakman (team: Bianaquiles) for her version of chilaquiles made with beef, chorizo, refried black beans, Mexican red/tomato sauce, pico de gallo, diced red onions, cheddar, Monterey jack and queso fresco.
1st Place: Kim Chavarriaga and Andrew Kummer (team: Kim & Andrew) for a French-inspired creamy Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake perfect for a cold winter night.
Check out all of the great photos from Mo Scarpelli on my Facebook fan page and please, please, please support the Casserole Party sponsors, so we can keep collaborating on fantastic events like this for years to come: