I realize the headline here looks like the sort of cheap "search engine optimization" ploy that Gene Weingarten lamented recently in The Washington Post. But really, it's legit.
The Rumor Mill in Ellicott City will split its six-person chef staff into two teams for a competition tonight and Saturday night. Three of the chefs happen to be women, three men, so they've dubbed it "Battle of the Sexes Cookoff."
"Guests will have the chance to 'sit at the judges' table' and choose which team puts out the best four-course menu and the best individual dish," says an e-mail from the restaurant.
The teams are identified as "Salt" and "Pepper." Here's the menu.
Eggplant manicotti with a local summer vegetable ragu (vegetarian)
Shrimp & bay scallop with lemon thyme buerre blanc over an asparagus checkerboard
Garlic & rosemary-encrusted ribeye medallion topped with a red wine reduction. Served with pickled local radishes and slow-roasted tournéed potatoes
Classic genoise cake layered with Bavarian cream & local strawberries, topped with marzipan & frozen white chocolate air
PEPPER FIRST COURSE
Potato & leek soup with tournéed potatoes & basil oil (vegetarian)
Soft-shell crab, avocado, & local cucumbers rolled in rice & nori, served with soy aioli & ginger
Gunpowder Falls Trading Co. bison New York Strip, cooked sous-vide & served with blueberry sauce & corn pudding. Paired with Chesapeake Bay rockfish poached in olive oil & served with pear & daikon slaw
Brown sugar torte served with fried banana ice cream & rum whipped cream
Gabrielle Jenkins, Johnson & Wales University
John Katz, Johnson & Wales University
Caitlin Morrell, Baltimore International College
Thomas Rullo, Baltimore International College
Patricia Sener, Johnson & Wales University
Sebastien Trossbach, Baltimore International College
Guests are asked to fill out a ballot before they leave. Winners will be announced on the restaurant's website and Facebook page.
Cost depends on how many courses you decide to taste. (You must taste at least one "paired course duo" -- a course from each team -- to participate.)
Individual course: $8
Paired course duo: $14
Full four-course menu: $30
Any four courses: $30
Any six courses: $45
Any eight courses: $60
Prices do not include tax or tip. Reservations available online or by calling (410) 461-0041.
Sun photo by Christopher T. Assaf