As the end of the fiscal year is around the corner and it feels like just yesterday I was submitting a leave pass to burn my vacation days, where I was looking forward to summer and the beast that comes along with it.
While looking back through my pictures, I couldn’t decide what to write about and then the Golden Spatula sprung to my face! My last post was in February 2017!? Since then plenty has changed. But we’ll cover that over some catch up posts. Catch up posts that will get mixed in with the road trip down to Portland, OR that starts tomorrow.
First, let’s dive into the burger that earned the Air Force a golden spatula!
No! Not those… they’re for the boys of BB25, the shoe box we lived in.
The burgers that took first place needed us to bring BBQ sauce in my luggage! When I was asked if I was interested in representing the Air Force in Calgary during the stampede festivities, I paused for a secound, I paused again asking myself why I paused in the first place and said “Heck yah, I’m in!”
The competition was run by Prospect Human Services, a company that, in short, helps employers get in touch with employees that have plenty of potential. They’ve been helping veterans get back into the workforce since world war two.
We were five teams competing. Last year’s winners were there to defend their title, a team from the Army, Navy, British Army posted in Suffield and the Air Force (that funny enough, consisted of Navy and Army (me) member). After looking at the roster, I was told that we had some serious competition so we started brainstorming off that little extra that would give us an edge.
We decided to feature the Island on our plate. Game meat expressed the animals hunted in the region and also showed expertise since it’s a product you don’t want to overcook or under season. The garnishes had to be bold, to carry that flavour and compensate for that lean meat, so the burger would get a spoonful of aïoli, arugula, beefsteak tomato slice, double smoked cheddar, back bacon, onion rings, a shot of our very own Cumberland Brewery BBQ sauce and it would all sit on a delicious pretzel Portofino bun.
The judges managed to get a bite out of that hefty burger, they were critical, the feedback was taken into consideration, at that point I was frustrated that we had put so much thought and care, and showed various techniques in BURGER… I thought we might have placed, a big maybe. The rest of the teams had gone for people-pleasers, ground bacon, alcohol, caramelized onions… we were smoked.
Lucky for us, it wasn’t the case! They called us up last and awarded us the “Spatule en Or” that is now displayed in the 19 Wing Combined Mess, alongside our other awards for past and present cake competitions the great staff has taken a part of… We’ll see if my colleague Mel throws up her silver medal she just won representing Canada down in Fort Lee, VA.
Want to see the other burgers and more pictures? Click Here!