Each year I host an offal battle and when people ask what’s coming up for 86’d I tell them “Battle Offal” and they laugh because what they hear is “Battle Awful”. I refuse to start putting an accent on the word and pronouncing it “oh-ffalll“. The word is offal and it sounds just like awful and that kind of works anyway because the word offal references the nasty bits that are somewhat awful to ponder, especially in regards to – What’s for dinner? Sautéed guts!
Brains and sperm sacs and tongues and ears. That is offal, and it is also awful. But when you put a pile of kidneys or a bag of severed lamb’s tongues or a giant ox heart in front of a chef they turn the awful into the divine.
Come and experience the alchemy for yourself this Monday, March 24th at the Drake Hotel. This year’s lineup of chefs includes The Saint Tavern, Small Town Food Co., Hapa Izakaya, Citizen Catering, Geraldine, Lamesa Filipino Kitchen and, returning champ, Albert Ponzo from Le Select.
You will have the chance to try all of their offal offerings and vote for your favourite. I’ve also brought back my offal panel of judges – James Beard Award winning author Jennifer McLagan, esteemed chef and owner of Cava, Chris McDonald, and beloved butcher/hipster hero Peter Sanagan. Joining them will be first time judge, Tanya Kelly, the woman behind the Blunt Roll apron/knife roll empire.
Starts at 8pm, free and open to everyone.