Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Up for a Challenge?

So, as I try to come off my FNP Sushi 101 article high (oh come to me sweet, free marketing), I stumbled across a little something you may be interested in.

But first, it is my belief that you can tell a lot about a cook by the food magazines he or she reads/subscribes to. For example; big into Food Arts? Serious cook who is in or follows the biz. Gourmet? Slightly food porn-esque and perhaps a bit more into food from an eating standpoint. Cooks Illustrated? Serious home cook, and don't mess around. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Anyway...

I was reading through my latest issue of Fine Cooking, which I find to be really well laid out and have very reliable, go to recipes that last for years and years. The photography is pretty and the folks who contribute are usually well-known in the industry for either being restaurant chefs, cookbook authors, etc. (no Food Network Stars here!). So as I'm paging through (CVB quirk - I read magazines back-to-front...who knew?), I find a challenge in the magazine:


Now, I am all about free stuff and I'm thinking, how many recipes could there be? Wait for it...97. Ninety freakin' seven! Ok, ok. This could be a cool direction for the blog for a little while. You know, hard working cook puts her own rift on recipes from a national food mag and writes to tell about it blah blah blah. So I visit the web site for more info and...nuthin'.

Being the dedicated food blogger that I am and being interested in my dear readers and their willingness to get their cooking on, I drop an email. Well, I'll be darned if I didn't get a reply almost immediately from Sarah, Fine Cooking's Managing Web Editor. She could not have been more helpful (or sound sweeter) and let me know that the link for info was indeed difficult to find (needle in a haystack) but that a new web design would be launched this very week. Cool I thought, more info. So I wait. And I click.

I find the info and here are the basics:
  • Cook every recipe in the current issue
  • Take Pics
  • Make posts for every recipe on the Fine Cooking website and post with pics of the recipe
  • Be done by 11:59pm on March 5, 2009

That's a lot of work, but the prize that you will be entered for is a shopping spree at Well, that certainly doesn't suck but let me check the value...WAIT A MINUTE, and here's the rub: 2 months, 97 recipes, and you are "entered to win" a $200 GIFT CARD. 200 BUCKS? 200 SMACKERS? 200 CLAMS? That's it??? Did they leave off a zero? Is there any concept as to how much all of the ingredients ALONE will cost? HOLY COW! BTW - 50 Runners-up will win a special Fine Cooking "Make It Tonight" special issue, but can you imagine doing all of that work and getting a copy of a magazine???

Maybe I'm just being greedy. Maybe Fine Cooking is just being unrealistic? Maybe I'm underestimating the free time and unlimited cash flow their readers have. I was so seriously bummed because I thought that this was an awesome idea. I really love the concept, but the execution? Not so much.

Being the concerned blogger that I am, I dropped another email to my new friend Sarah. I mentioned that perhaps, this was a bit too much work to ask folks to so for such a well, ummm, you know, skimpy prize. That perhaps the magazine could hit up their advertisers and sponsors for some free stuff to include to really make it a whiz bang prize. Alas, even though it's been a few days and I was REALLY nice, I haven't heard back from Sarah. Darn.

Anyway, if you're really into it, or just want to check it out and giggle a little, here's the link:

While you're there, consider giving the magazine a try. It really is a great read and one of my favorites, I just think they didn't quite hit this contest right, but then again, I've been wrong before...


DineInDiva said...

Hi Christine - There aren't actually 97 recipes - 97 is the issue number. There are probably about 47.

Point taken about the cost to make vs. the prize, but I have been participating primarily for the challenge part of cooking through the issue. Although I am not making croissants from scratch...

It's been fun to see the other entries and read the comments. And it's been a good way to work on my food photos, which still stink at times, but are improving.

I made the Buttermilk cake today and it was amazingly good. I'm not in it to win it per se, but I am enjoying the ride.

Chef Christine said...

Got it, and kudos to you for taking on the challenge. The gal at the magazine gave me the info -- I should have double checked but truthfully, no time to count rtecipes here! Thanks for the correction, and good luck on your quest!