Wednesday, May 4, 2011

D'Artagnan Duckathlon VI (Part 1)

Guess what I was up to on Sunday (besides singing). Nope, baking is not the correct answer. I was invited by Deana from the awesome blog Lost Past Remembered to come check out D'Artagnan's annual Duckathlon - "Half marathon, half duck, and completely insane, the Duckathlon is a culinary obstacle course that runs through the Meatpacking District."
I did as much research as I could on the event and everyone hosting, participating, etc that I could and then set off to the Duckathlon after finishing my church choir gig.
The Duckathlon was happening in and around Chelsea Market. After meeting Lily, one of the head honchos of the event, and receiving all the info I needed to find groups etc, I set off to the nearest station to see what this Duckathlon was all about.
I found the Le Cirque group at the crepe flipping station that was run by All-Clad. (BTW, need to get me a gift? I'll take anything from All-Clad. Thanks.) The object of this challenge was to see how many crepe flips a team could get in a certain time frame. One member would flip it 5 times and pass it to the next member and so on. Guess what! I happened to have watched the winning team in action. Way to go Le Cirque (and I love y'all's restaurant!)
The next group I encountered was doing a challenge very near and dear to my heart. They had to decorate a cookie under a specific time limit. Hello! Cookies...sugar...MESS!
I chased down this Cercle Rouge member and asked to take a picture of her hands (because messy hands = be still my heart.) She told me she spoke French only and so I quickly pointed to my camera and said, "Photo...les mains." She understood right away and smiled this awesome smile and proudly displayed her mess. YAY high school French for not failing me.

By the way, there was a contest for best group costumes...guess who won that...
The next competitive stations that I stopped at were at Dickson's Meats and BuonItalia. Unfortunately I didn't get to see any groups in action for this. Check out the two pictures and try to guess what the challenge was.
Meat Map: Correctly identify cuts of meat to area of cow.
Pasta Pickup: One member takes stick of pasta in mouth and tries to get as many circle pastas with stick and place in the cup within a minute. (Yes, I'm sad I didn't see anyone do this.)

Then I wondered next door where there were TWO challenges at one table and guess what - I got to do the challenges!
At The Filling Station I sampled an infused olive oil and could tell that there was some type of fruit in it, but it would have taken me hours to guess a fig! It was delicious. Also, they let me try the ghost pepper salt and the bacon flavored salt. Yes. Bacon flavored salt. Supposedly it's awesome on an omelet. I thought it was really awesome by itself as well. I will definitely have to go back and get some of their awesome products next time I'm in the area. Plus, their motto is reuse, refill, recycle. What's not to like?
At the same table I got to taste three different types of cheese from Lucy's Whey. I had to identify which one was cow's milk, sheep's milk, and goat's milk and I totally guessed each one correctly! All the types of cheese were delightful. I think I'll make an afternoon of buying cheese from Lucy's Whey and then sit in High Line park this summer while munching on the deliciousness. Mmmm!

After all that fun, I left Chelsea Market and entered Spice Market. I had never been here and was delighted with how beautiful the space is!
I caught up with the boys from Daniel who were busy trying to figure out the last mystery spice.
All were blindfolded and had to figure out 5 different spices via touch, smell, and taste.
The team from Daniel were very thoughtful on their decision. Too bad it wasn't the right one. But that's what makes it a competition! This one was tough!

I also saw the group from Great Performances figure out the first spice.
They worked together well and quickly answered correctly. I later found out that they were one of a few groups to guess the last (and hardest to guess) spice correctly.

After this challenge, I popped back outside and was witness to some of the most unusual food challenges I've ever seen. Stay tuned for part 2!


  1. Splendid job, Erika... I felt like I was there... uh, well I was, but it brought it back beautifully. Great reporting!

  2. Hands down, the BEST marathon ever. Wish I was there too.

    By the way, I really want that duck hat thing...Quack! :D


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