October brings bursts of sunshine and pollen, swooping magpies, and our lab’s annual culinary competition honouring the birthday of Jane Elith. This year we missed the uber-competitive Mark Burgman, but CEBRA Director Andrew Robinson was a gracious host, and Yung En Chee continues to be a champion co-ordinator.
Competitors drew inspiration from their gardens and other local ingredients, from famous chefs and family members, from their cultures of origin and even from their ecological field sites. And after all was said and eaten, to whom did Jane’s three sons award the grand prize? You’ll have to see the slide show through to find out.
The food pics are mine; a special thanks to Yung for capturing the crowd. You can also click back for slideshows from 2016 and 2015.
Today is Jane Elith‘s birthday, and the CEBRA–QAECO labs held their traditional celebration of this event on Monday. This is a culinary competition, where lab-mates do their best to mix crafty themes and clever names with the prettiest presentation and, of course, the most exquisite flavour. Admire the many, many entries in the above slideshow.
The Grand Prize Winner was JECC newbie Holly Kirk, who baked humble but deeply delicious olive bread sticks. Other entrants threw glitter at cake like it was mardi gras, assembled sweet miniature burgers with brownie patties, baked casseroles composed of their PhD study species, and extolled the versatility of the canned tomato.
If you’re hungry for more, you can also check out last year’s proceedings here.
Anyone can see that Jane Elith is an accomplished quantitative ecologist, but she’s also earned a reputation as a warm and generous colleague. This is why, for more than a decade, Jane’s research lab has celebrated her birthday with a culinary competition.
Mark Burgman has been known to brag for weeks of his ‘secret weapon this year’, others share family recipes or recent fancies, and a few creative types focus on striking presentation. Everyone gets to know each other better over a fabulous lunch, and a few lucky entrants win prizes like plastic dinosaur figurines, lemon-juicing gadgets, and grape-flavoured marshmallows.
Here’s a slide show of the 2015 proceedings, held on Monday October 12. Congratulations to this year’s Grand Prize Winner Yung En Chee, for her hand-crafted onigiri and trio of Japanese-style pickles.