On your mark……get ready…..
The Dare to Pear Cuisine Team has converged on Medford’s Historic OldTown eateries with their Dare to Pear Challenge invitations for 2011. All food and beverage sites in the Medford Old Town district are encouraged to participate in this annual, friendly, yet sometimes heated, competition to determine who will be this years Dare to Pear Challenge Champions.
“This is our third contest” explains Merrie Gaye, the Pear Blossom Festival’s Dare to Pear Challenge originator. “The initial 2009 Challenge was especially well received. Upon suggestion by the ACF (American Culinary Federation) judging experts, “casual” and “upscale” categories were added in 2010. “ The distinction was established to promote a spirit of fairness for all of our contestants.” Merrie stated. This year, the Dare to Pear Challenge has added a third category -desert and beverages. This latest category will provide an additional opportunity for local culinary specialists to showcase their creativity.
The Pear A Fare Committee determined that each year they would include an additional element of the culinary Challenge concept. The ultimate goal is to achieve ACF sanction status which would entice professional chefs from the Pacific Northwest, and beyond to compete. “We have carefully built upon the original idea so that we could do it well. We are hopefully that within a two year window we will be able to persuade the American Culinary Federation that this is a valid competition. If we can convince the ACF…the chefs will follow.” Merrie concludes.
Medford’s OldTown historic core is home to 27 privately owned and operated food and beverage providers. There is only one corporate eatery in the entire six by six block boundary. These are the same kind of dining dynamic in most major metropolitan areas.
In the next few weeks, you will see Merrie and her team walking the sidewalks of Old Town, stopping in to encourage the restaurant owners and staff to participate in the Dare to Pear Challenge. “Half the battle to get the restaurants involved is convincing the owners and service staff that this really is an opportunity to support their culinary professionals.” Merrie said. “In my experience, kitchen staff is traditionally pretty shy. I wanted to promote an event that gives all these professionals an opportunity to be recognized and valued for the work they do.”
View 2011 Dare to Pear Challenge in a larger map
For more information on participating in the Dare to Pear Challenge, contact Merrie Gaye at Grape Street Gardens (541) 292-3750.