Sometimes cooking is just about getting a meal on the table, other times it’s to delight and entertain. And then of course there’s the need to crush your opponents.
If cooking gets your competitive juices flowing, two very different events coming up this month may be in your wheelhouse. One offers the chance for fame, while the other balances the prospect of bragging rights with a fun night out.
The first is a casting call for contestants on the Fox network’s “MasterChef,” the reality TV show starring the famously mercurial chef Gordon Ramsay. It’s part of a series of tryouts being held across the country, and this one is Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Four Points French Quarter hotel at 541 Bourbon St.
Producers are looking for home cooks, not restaurant professionals, and working in the reality TV genre, they’re obviously looking for more than just cooking ability. Register in advance and get details on the casting call at masterchefcasting.com.
Meanwhile, this Saturday, Sept. 13, a more homegrown shot at culinary glory comes with less fanfare but at least better odds.
That’s when Langlois Culinary Crossroads (1710 Pauger St., (504) 934-1010; langloisnola.com) hosts its Cooking Competition Night. Langlois is a hybrid restaurant/cooking school in the Marigny, and one regular feature on its class schedule is an Iron Chef-style cooking competition, tasking teams to create meals from a basket of ingredients and along a theme revealed at the last minute. It’s normally pitched as a team-building activity for businesses and other groups, and Langlois proprietor Amy Sins said it’s been fun to watch how different people approach the challenge.
“We’ll often get sales teams, people who are pretty competitive,” she said. “But then we’ll get a group of engineers and here they are building something with food the way they build things at work.”
On Saturday, Langlois opens the competition for individuals, couples and other small groups for the first time. Contestants will be assigned to teams, and a chef from the Langlois staff will assist as they conceive and prepare a dish to be judged on the spot. Attendance is limited to 20, and there is another contest tentatively planned for November. The event is from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. and the cost, $60 per person, includes hors d’oeuvres and one glass of wine (don’t worry, you can buy more). Register at langloisnola.com/ book-a-class/ or call (504) 934-1010.
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.