My Cook-Off Challenge

July 23, 2012

Put your apron on and get cooking. 

Have you ever seen Top Chef’s Quickfire Challenge?  Our European chefs recently did something similar.  They had a contest across Europe and the U.K. with each city holding a cook-off. 

Winning TeamTeams of our chefs were given a black box full of ingredients.  They opened the box and tried to whip up a gourmet dish.

Points were awarded on everything from how the table looked to how the ingredients were used, and of course how it tasted.  A roving group of senior company executives and food experts served as the judges.  By the way, they only had a few hours to pull all this together.

The Forest of Arden, a Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Birmingham, England was crowned the European winner.  The grand prize was a trip to the Marriott headquarters Bethesda, Maryland to visit our test kitchen and cook up their winning dish, which was:


Taster of Game
Taster of Game

A trio of salmon; a taster of game which was venison and pheasant; and the dessert was lemon meringue tart with raspberry mayonnaise strawberry sorbet and chantilly cream.  Wow.

Their trip coincided with our annual community service day.  The team of chefs worked alongside our corporate chefs at D.C. Central Kitchen, one of the city’s busiest job training and food distribution centers.  It was a chance to show how we give back to our local community.  They also visited local attractions and ate their first Chesapeake Bay crab. 

So next time you open your refrigerator and cupboards and see a mish-mash of ingredients, be creative and try to make a meal. 

Here’s your black box challenge:  roasted chicken, baby spinach, grapes, horseradish, ripe pears and almonds.  Use your own spices and as many plates as you want.  Let’s see what you cook up! 

 Cook off- new

Leave a comment and post a photo and recipe to our Facebook page. Or, you can email your dish and recipe to The deadline is August 15th. I’ll decide the winner and give the lucky chef a congratulatory phone call. So, good luck and get cooking.

I’m Bill Marriott. Thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

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Marriott bar menus never fail the fantastic. Atlanta Gateway Champions served the best shrimp and grits in the world. I tried others in GA and SC only to be dissapointed to the point of never ordering again until I return to Atlanta. Is there any way I can obtain this recipe for my personal use. I was spoiled and can never try this in any other restaurant.


Ralph J Christ

great choice on the mystery ingredients, all the flavors went well together. When will the winner of the challenge be posted.

golly, I put the recipe on the facebook page. Don't quite understand where you want it.

I would make a salad using additional ingredients and the horseradish would be added to a bleu cheese dressing for a little extra zing

You may use spices, salt, pepper, oil, etc. Get your recipes and photos in to me by August 15th. Good luck, Angela and Sue!


Can you use spices? Salt? Pepper? Oil? Any other ingredients? Or just these?

Love the challenge. Not sure what to do with horseradish. I'll put my apron on and try. Sue