Pinnacles Cook Off!!

They say trampers should never walk on an empty stomach….and there was definitely no shortage of food this weekend! On Saturday morning a large group of keen trampers waited eagerly in the rain with their packs filled with all the goodies they were going to drag up to the Pinnacles hut. We had selected teams of two or three and each team was to come  up with a novel menu for two of the meals: dinner, dessert or breakfast. Being a cook-off, each team was very secretive about their proposed meals. We all walked up there carrying items including a large metal gas cooker and full gas canister, fondue sets, kilograms of chocolate, even a frozen raw chicken. That evening everyone was hard at work to create the ultimate dish and take out the prizes! Dinner creations included Nico, Brendan and Grant’s chicken fondue, Rosanna and Craig’s deep fried ravioli, couscous stuffed capsicums and Rosanna’s amazing chicken soup spontaneously whipped up using the leftover carcass of Nico’s chicken.2010 cook off Dessert was an interesting mix of cinnamon stuffed apples, trifle, traditional kiwi pavalova, chocolate mousse cocktails (created by Lois, David and Chris), chocolate cake, and chocolate fondue (all melted by Peter and Luke). Our team (consisting of me, Nadia and Tom) decided we’d take the creative route and put together a beach scene with a custard sea, kiwifruit palm trees, pineapple rubber rings and gummy bear people. While it looked… well…impressive… the custard had a strong aftertaste of carbon, cutting us out of the running for Masterchef.

The next morning an enthusiastic bunch of us braved the crisp morning air and climbed to the top of the pinnacles to watch the sunrise, and to work up our appetites for the next course, breakfast! Once again, the cooks did not fail to impress with a range of blueberry pancakes, kumara patties, salsa tarts, freshly squeezed orange juice and our very own pancake volcano. However, at the end of the day only a few aspiring chefs could take out the prizes. Craig and Rosanna’s deepfried ravioli took out most amazing dinner, Keri, Alison, Anna L and Hannah’s stuffed cinnamon apples won best dessert and Rosanna and Anna T’s delicious salsa tarts stole the breakfast prize! Most ridiculous ingredient went to Peter and Luke for carrying up 6kg of oranges for their freshly squeezed juice, while most ridiculous cookware went Nico, Brendan and Grant for their traditional German fondue set. All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend.

Christina Fullerton