Theme ideas

  1. DONE: Episode #1… Walk to the Farmer’s Market without a plan; once there, have an extended conversation about what to cook for dinner, resulting in no consensus.  Make each person claim a course, next, split up to procure your own ingredients, then meet back at the AdventureLoft™ to cook and eat.  (This was the meal that seeded the FMC concept)
  2. DONE: Episode #2… Sequence drawn out of a hat, dish prepared is NOT something in your normal repertoire.
  3. DONE: Episode #3… In celebration of Chinese new year we can do classical chinese elements: Earth, air, water, fire, metal & wood. Might have to repeat for a couple of courses. (2011 is the year of the rabbit, so that should be at least one course)
  4. DONE: Episode #4…Haute versions of seventies’ staples (which is to say, how can you take a jello salad into 2011, and onto a Harold Dierterle menu?)
  5. DONE: Episode #5… “Wonders of the World“…. using a mix of ancient and modern wonders of the world chosen randomly.
  6. DONE: Episode #6… The South will rise again: Southern and soul food inspired dishes.
  7. DONE: Episode #7… “FMC goes to the Beach” … At the Outer Banks, NC with family, kids too!
  8. DONE: Episode #8… Trick or treat: “Death, Decay, Destruction, (and decadence)”… A Halloween feast.
  9. DONE: Episode #9…World peace:  Various regional cuisines are written on cards and placed in a hat, we draw two at a time which must be combined to inspire one dish.
  10. DONE: Episode #10… The Oscars: film-inspired food. eg, The Sting inspires a stinging nettles soup (well, maybe in the spring) or Dr Strangelove inspires a Chocolate Bombe dessert.
  11. DONE: Episode #11… Color Theory: Assignments dished by Professor Mehl and photographed for his sabbatical book project.
  12. DONE: Episode #12… Tar Beach: Summertime dining al fresco on the roof.
  13. DONE: Episode #13… Superstition: Craft a dish that plays on a superstition, or a ritual we use to keep bad things from happening.
  • Exquisite corpse – each course must use one ingredient used in the previous course.
  • One-armed bandit:  Dishes prepared must be edible with one hand only.
  • Each course is randomly assigned a book as inspiration.
  • Noah’s ark: Each course is randomly assigned a different animal to use as an ingredient or inspiration.
  • Taste buds: Each course highlights and features a different taste:  Sweet, Salt, Sour, Bitter, Spicy, Umami.
  • Back home:  An old family recipe updated.
  • Monochrome rainbow: Each course is assigned a different color.
  • Salsaaaaah:  Each course is randomly assigned a condiment.  The dish prepared must pair with that condiment.
  • Homage to Kozy Shack rice pudding (milk, rice, sugar, eggs, salt, vanilla): No dish can use more than six ingredients.
  • Vegetarian.
  • Round robin: Each participant is assigned a course, they chooses a dish/recipe/idea, those go in a hat, and are re-distributed randomly; ie: someone else cooks your idea.
  • All ingredients used must have been alive (if they were ever alive), within the previous 48 hours of eating (probably best in the summer).
  • Each dish must feature one ingredient used (plant or animal) that has been dead at least 6 months (aged, preserved, dried, pickled, etc).
  • Iron chefs: all courses must utilize the “secret” ingredient, which is divulged well in advance of the dinner.
  • Around the world:  Regional cuisines are chosen randomly via dart & map.
  • Reverse wine pairing: Each person draws a wine/beverage which will inspire the dish, pair well with it, or be used as an ingredient.
  • None if by land, Two if by sea: Each course must contain at least one aquatic ingredient from freshwater or the ocean (sea salt excluded).
  • Junk food junkie: Participants are assigned a junk food or fast food restaurant to use as inspiration, but cannot use junk food as an ingredient.
  • The blind leading the blind: Nothing is communicated prior to the meal.  The sequence of courses is determined only after everyone arrives.  (we’d be depending on the law of averages not to have 8 desserts.  Not that that would be such a bad thing 😉
  • An ode to greek gods/goddesses. Take a god or goddess & turn it into a dish.
  • The last days of winter; the dish has to be mostly white & seasonal in the main ingredient choice.
  • Foods we feel sorry for.
  • Pyramids: could be architectural, political, ethnological, or just nutritionally smartass-ish…
  • Amish: No power tools or appliances allowed.  (everything as hand-made as possible).
  • Old School: Follow or adapt a recipe from as far back in history as you can find.
  • Leftovers: Dishes are made using ingredients from a previously prepared meal.
  • Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme: Dishes inspired by music, either by the name of the band or by the song.
  • Dishes inspired by NYC neighborhoods: We assign the ‘hood, you pick the dish.
  • Moderation: things that taste so good that you won’t believe they’re actually healthy for you.
  • Over the top: menu items that one wanted to attempt for the holidays, but never got around to, calories be damned.
  • Carnivores:  All meat
  • She blinded me with science!: Use some form of kitchen chemistry to make an avant garde, weird, or just a different take on something ordinary.
  • Rocky mountain high: Get some altitude, make something you’d imagine eating in the rockies, the alps, the himilayas, or whatever range you fancy.
  • Spring Break! A little trip to the world of crispy, snappy, crunchy foods. (And way too much booze.)
  • The Jackson 5 meets Salt N Pepa” That’s all we get: 5 ingredients per dish … plus a little salt and pepper.
  • Regression Impulse: a delicious dish inspired by the first great meal you can remember.
  • Spring Fever, Cooler Heads prevail: Icy Cold, Boiling Hot, Crazy Spicy, or Super Bland. Prepare dishes that takes us to one extreme or the other. No middle ground for the FMC.
  • March Madness, which sees unthinkable ingredient/food parings.
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