I love a good cooking contest. Look at how popular they are on the Food Television Network. I remember the first television food competition that enraptured the nation was Iron Chef. I’m talking about the original cult favourite that was produced by Fuji TV in Japan with dubbed over voices. We never missed an episode. There was nothing like it on TV – and now there is an entire network devoted to food and cooking contests.

In fact, now it’s actually rarer to see a cooking show with a chef demonstrating how to cook something. These days it’s all about where you gotta eat, or who is the best chef or food truck, or how to make something with peanut butter and partridge toes and then there’s my favourite – how to beat Bobby Flay at his own game.

I grew up on The Galloping Gourmet and Wok with Yan. My mother used to read cookbooks instead of novels and she was the one that got me hooked watching cooking shows on the telly. But when it came down to that half hour of small screen culinary arts – she didn’t just write down the recipe and call it a day.

No – she loved to critique the chef – from each step of the recipe: “Oh lord, look at all that butter Graham is using!” to the production value of their performance: “That Stephen Yan – he’s always making the same jokes.” Well yah Mom, it’s a play on one word – wok. Like Wok with Me, or Wokkey Night in Canada – get it?

The point I’m trying to make is that for her it wasn’t just about the food. It was about the entertainment of food. She got that eons before anyone else did. And she sure did pass on the love of the fun of food to me.


So that’s why I can’t wait for the second annual “So You Think You Can Cook” Savour September event at the Aberfoyle Farmers’ Market on Saturday, September 27. The fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farmers have been at the market all season long, but now we get to celebrate the bounty of the harvest plus how much fun it can be to cook, share and compare recipes. Oh, and did I mention prizes?

This weekend you will have the chance to show off your culinary skills by registering for the Savour September cooking contest for ages six to infinity. In order to qualify you must pre-register at the market this Saturday, September 20. Sign up will be done at the Farmer’s Market Tent. Cost to register is $5 per entrant.

The contest will take place the weekend after, Saturday September 27 and will be broken into three separate groups – kids (6 to 12), teens (13 to 17) and adults (18 and up). The cooking battle will begin at 10:30. We suggest you use as many ingredients purchased from the market as possible to help showcase our local farmers. You will prepare your recipe at home and then your creation will be tasted by our panel of esteemed judges.

Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place in each group based on the judge’s decision.

Come Dine With Me and don’t’ even think about getting Chopped at the Aberfoyle Farmers’ Market second annual Savour September event. After all – we are all Top Chefs around here at our friendly market with our family of vendors. We will be there every weekend along with the food you love, the growers you know, every Saturday from 8am to 1pm until the end of October.