Meet, Erin Evenson, a legal assistant for an international law firm by day, and an award-winning competitive home cook by nights and weekends in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Erin is a self-proclaimed “food dork”. She buries her nose in cookbooks and happily spends 100% of her spare time day-dreaming, crafting and developing recipes to compete with. But not just any recipes, her specialty is giving dishes a New Nordic, Scandinavian twist – adding a little love and respect for her family’s heritage into every main stage battle, hoping to expose more people to a cuisine she’s passionate about. Erin will compete this weekend at the Food Experiments National Championship in Brooklyn, pitting competition-craving home cooks from across the country against each other for an all out “perfect bite” cook-off.
I found Erin through Theo Peck, a co-founder of the Food Experiments. Sniffing out a story, I asked him if there was a “team to beat”, and Erin Evenson first came to mind. He told me she’s quite a character, a seasoned competitor who makes the most amazing, interesting and compelling dishes – and for the championship, she somehow sourced 150 Atlantic cod tongues from a commercial fisherman in Bay Ridge. Well, ladies and gents, that’s all I needed to know.
I met with Erin this past Sunday at her apartment, and filmed as she was testing out batches of her seafood concept. Immediately, I was touched by the utter merriment she brings to the kitchen: “Moreso than anything, what I learned from that very first competition I entered in 2006, the joy is feeding someone and making them happy, and it’s absolutely, first and foremost, my intent when I cook this food.” So enjoy this sweet, little peek into the life of a competitive home cook. She’s confident. She’s serious. And, man oh man, can she do mean things with cod tongues.
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