Could I get Langdale out of bed this morning? Well of course..I did. But ever since he has moved in to an Inn room at Irontoes East and bought himself a big comfy bed, a jug of water is now what it takes to get him up and about. It has become somewhat of a game for me. I try to see how much noise I can actually get away with making. So far it is a huge amount, although when I stood next to his bed and simply let the tray holding his breakfast drop out of my hands on to the floor with a clatter I am sure I saw his eyes flicker. Maybe Langdale is playing games with me?
The upshot of this whole thing was that I had just consigned the last of his sausages and bacon to the splinters of the floor. So Langdale insisted that we find somewhere to eat…”Quick smart” he said. Well after he spent most of my money on new armour, I was at a bit of a loss. That was until whilst sitting downstairs at Irontoes waiting for him to get ready for the day, I noticed a poster on the wall. Strolling over to it, my heart, and stomach lifted. A cooking competition! ‘The Feyiron Chef’. Held as part of the Festival of Unity, today was to be the final, just outside the South Qeynos gates. This was too good an opportunity to be missed. Surely there will be free food? I rushed upstairs to hurry our rodent friend along..
Less than an hour later we were wandering out of the city and Langdale had a definite spring in his step. He had done ever since I had shown him the poster…I am pretty sure I heard his stomach rumbling, although he said it was the wind…
When we arrived there was already a goodly crowd. The Chairperson of the event, Lera Bladestrike from guild Restoration announced very shortly “We have one more contestant on her way here, and we’ll start as soon as she arrives.”! Fanstastic news! Both Langdale and I looked at each other expectantly. Langdale took the time to wander round while we waited and I sat down, content at surveying the ‘arena’ for the upcoming battle! A large pittted fire was the central spot, and I assumed this was where the cooking was to take place. Scanning the crowd I saw a few famous faces of heroes of Norrath, Langdale later even pointed out the loverly Tibberian Dele’Mont, proud winner of the jousting competition earlier in the week. Fantastic that they were showing such an interest. Stopping to think that it is only right at an event such as The Festival of Unity to have such distinguished patrons and guests. Not least of whom, Shackleton the huge Kerran swashbuckler, who was to be the main correspondant, was here! Seeing such a presdigeous figure I quickly scanned the crowd for Langdale worried he would get himself in to a pickle and embarrass us! Luckily he seemed to be more interested in getting a good viewing spot round the fire.
Correspondant Shackleton and the ‘arena’ for ‘The Feyiron Chef’
Shackleton began what was to be a wonderful commentary and indeed the event..”You join us for this, the fourth and final installment of feyiron chef!” He announced, “The contestants today will be competing for the Feyiron Spoon and Crown”. Langdale nudged me and looked up with the stupisiest of grins, I could tell his excitement was getting beyond control!
After handing over to Chairperson Lera Bladestrike, she very quickly announced that the secret ingredient for ‘cook off’ was to be Fayberry! Langdale wandered off to take a look at who the contestants were going to be and after doing some snooping he hurriedly returned and told me there were three hopefuls for the Spoon!
From Darklight Woods the Arasai ‘Melenie’ was here, the ‘black glint’ in her eyes as Langdale told me, meant there could be some exciting and nasty creations by the outlander. I trusted his word having come from Darklight just two days ago to the fair city of Qeynos. Tier’dal, Kalandra Nightmoon of guild Legion of Kithicor was here and the last contestant was to be a Wood Elf, Lysari form guild Green Council.
Whilst Langdale filled me in on the contestants I heard Chairperson Lera announcing the Judges for the event. They were to be Phemme Phatale from guild Kindred, Akissa Le’Lyon from guild Restoration and last but not least Tregarde Nas’Kall from guild Sojourners of Norrath.
Well it really didn’t take long then for the contestants to get going! They were to have thirty minutes in which to produce five dishes with the special ingredient ‘Fayberry’ to wow the Judges palates. Before Langdale and I knew it the smell of cooking drifted it’s way across to us. I could now hear both our stomachs rumbling.
The 3 contestants cook. From left to right..
Judge Phemme, Contestant Melenie, Shackleton, Contestant Kalandra (with green cloak), Contestant Lysari (with green frostfell hat)
During the proceedings the correspondant Shackleton furnished us with many interesting facts, including the origins of the ‘Fayberry’….
“It is said that Tunare herself brought them from the luscious forests of the plane of growth and gifted the first fayberries to the King and Queen of Kelethin” Shackleton informed us, Langdale rolling his eyes at me. I well know his ‘un’interest in history, but eager to hear more myself, I leant forward..
“The King, being fat for a wood elf, promptly ate his. But the Queen wisely thrust it into the ground where it grew into an enormous tree” he continued, “later, fayberries played a vital role in Kelethin’s defence. Squeezed and then liberally applied on the skin, they became a favourite tool of spies wishing to thwart the machinations of Neriak”, I personally thought this was all interesting stuff, but Langdale I could tell was not listening. What Shackleton had to say next perked his ears up though…
“Those of Neriak would also cover their skin in fayberries, but for an entirely different purpose which modesty prohibits Shackleton to discuss”…grumbling at the Kerran being coy Langdale wandered off to the contestants to see what they were doing. On his return he giggled delightedly that Melenie seemed to season everything with extract of Dark Hatred, and he even spotted Kalandra using her pet Hawk to do some of the cooking for her by hovering a pot over the flames. This was turning out to be a most exciting and original competition.
Throughout the ‘cook off’ the contestants grilled, boiled, rolled, crushed, squeezed, seasoned and dodged Shackletons attempts to swipe their creations and before we knew it, thirty minutes had passed. A countdown from Shackleton saw the contestants hurriedly finishing the presentation of their dishes.
It was then time for the three contestants to present their five dishes to the Judges..Melenie was to go first.
Melenie presents her dishes to the Judges
- Fayberry Popcorn seasoned with darklight herbs and spices.
- Sablevein Stout and fayberries, with warpfront mushrooms for seasoning.
- Pan fried fayberry cakes seasoned with Darklight seasonings, topped with Fayberry Bloodwine Syrup and warpfront mushrooms.
- ‘Boltdrivers’ as called by the contestant…Fayberry juice and Gnomish Spirits.
- Thick Bloodwine Fayberry ‘surprise’
Well the offerings certainly caused some differing reactions from the Judges. Judge Phemme was even heard to exclaim “ACK that burns!” whilst tasting the popcorn. Langdale informed me that it must have been to wash away the taste, but he saw her downing rather a lot of the ‘Boltdrivers’ shortly after. Whatever the Judges said about her cooking, Melenie certainly had the last laugh by secretly presenting to them Chocolate Chip Cookies of Seething Malice! Shackleton commented … “a forceful culinary presense, there. Let’s see if our next contestant can match it”.
The next contestant to present was Kalandra Nightmoon from guild Legion of Kithicor.
Kalandra presents her dishes to the Judges
- Salad fayberry slices with carrots and onion shreds on top. Along with softgrass andeldarr leaves as a ‘gentle’ base.
- ‘Robust’ Elk Stew with potatoes, based in a sauce of fayberries and a touch of wolves blood…’for luck’.
- Grilled Griffin Steak in a fayberry marianade, served with 100 year old apple wine.
- Field snack of Chocolate and fayberry covered in ‘bugs legs’. Kalandra commented “slightly crunchy but ‘o’ so soft on the palate!”
- Fayberry and Wild apple cobbler with cinnemon seasoning topped with Nutmeg.
Well the field snack created a bit of a stir, Langdale told me he saw Judge Tregarde raise an eyebrow, look at the dish in a sceptical manner and comment “Bug legs… but… chocolate… but…”. Shackleton seemed most impressed by the Stew and Steak, exclaiming..”Surely there’ll be some left for Shackleton, if Shackleton doesn’t get a piece, then it shall be a cruel test of his will”.
Time for the last contestant Lysari from guild Green Council to present her dishes.
Lysari presents her dishes to the Judges
- Pancakes with a reduction of Fayberry sauce and sliced fayberries in the syrup.
- Grilled Nerius Trout skewers and grilled fayberry. The chef commented “the slight acidity of the berry cuts the oily fish taste right out!”
- Fayberry, Xegonberry, prickly pear, white peach, raw carrot salad with Baubbleshire cabbage shreds, Murndunk Orange dressing and vinegar.
- Grilled Deer meat marianated in fayberry. Lysari added ” I rubbed just a few more fayberries in to the steak before grilling”.
- Fayberry and xegonberry pie a lo mode, with fresh fayberry cream on the side. Apparently, a ‘special recipe of her Grandmothers’.
The pancakes went down very well with the Judges, but Shackleton claimed pancakes were cheating and added, “Shackleton considers whether he can confiscate them”!. Judge Akissa was apparently happy that there was now ‘normal’ food to eat and tucked in to the desert with gusto.
The Judges then went off to confer and Shackleton cleared away the scraps…
Langdale commented to me that he was more than sure Lysari was gong to win with the introduction of pancakes and the wonderful desert. I wasn’t so sure and decided to wait until the Judges came back. It didn’t take long and Lady Lera Bladestrike came back to the gathering and proudly announced Kalandra Nightmoon as the victor!
Langdale and I wish to extend our congratulations to Kalandra, and all of the contestants for such a fine showing. Congratulations also to Shackleton for an amusing and informative ongoing report throughout the event and to the Judges for their impatiality and at times stamina!
A big thankyou from both of us for organising not just this event but the whole week of festivities!
Langdale was so happy to have attended, he forgot all about the fact I had ruined his own breakfast.
As we strolled back to Qeynos, the weather which had turned bad at the end of the competition got steadily worse. Langdale commented , “Mees certainly hopes the rains goes away for da Parade!”