We went to the Duck Duel Duex, aka Great Duck-Off, aka Fowl Mouth Dinner at the Grange Restaurant last night in Sacramento. This was a rematch of a friendly cooking competition between Hank Shaw, a food blogger, and Michael Tuohy, the chef at the Grange.
The menu was appetizing:
We skipped the wine pairings. One chef did the first item listed for each course and the other chef did the second item for each course. Otherwise, we didn't know which chef was first and which was second.
The way it worked was that we were served both items for each course and we voted on which we liked better on a little card that we then turned in at the end of the evening. At the end, there was also a selection for which we liked better overall.
Amuse Bouche: Little Egg v. Duck Tartare
Both Rachel and I voted for the little egg. The duck tartare was very good, but the little egg was exceptional. This was early when we hadn't figured out how to take decent pictures yet (it was quite dark).
First: Duck Consomme v. Duck Liver Tortelloni
Both Rachel and I voted for the duck consomme. It just may be too hard to put regular duck liver [not that there was anything particularly "regular" about it. It was still good] up against foie gras.
Next: Duck Confit v. Duck Leg
Rachel and I split on this one, although we both liked both. I went for the duck leg and Rachel went with the duck confit.
Main: Spice Scented Duck Breast v. Duck Breast Roulade
Rachel and I both really liked the duck breast roulade. The spice scented duck breast seemed to have too much sweet going on, although that may just be a matter of personal preference.
For the overall judging, Rachel voted for the first chef (little egg, duck consomme, duck confit, and spice scented duck breast) as the best overall and I voted for the second (duck tartare, duck liver tortelloni, duck leg, and duck breast roulade).
Desert was a non-competition item, mincemeat strudel, that used copious amounts of duck fat as a substitute for some of the butter. We both like savory things over sweet desserts, so this was also a big thumbs up.
No word yet on the compilation of all of the voting from the other guests.
A portion of the receipts from the evening went to the California Waterfowl Association.