throw-down @ the whalesbone

There was a throw-down on Friday night.  Between Arctic Andrew and I.  Don’t worry… we’re still friends.

It was a date-square throw-down.  And … sigh … we tied.

You see … Andrew and I have gotten to know each other while we labour away in the Whalesbone‘s basement; cleaning mushrooms, de-boning fish, plating desserts, running up and down the stairs… talking food the entire time (or travelling… but it’s mostly food talk).

We both agree that the apple pear crumble is our favourite Whalesbone dessert.  We both love plating the cheese platter – aiming to out-do one another with our skills.  And we both LOVE date squares.  Andrew thinks his mother makes the best date squares, I obviously believe that my grandmother made the best – and therefore my version (based on her recipe) is the best.

It was time to have a throw-down.

Who would come out on top?  Andrew and his mother or me and my grandmother? 

It was intense.

I arrived with my squares already made – I think I should get points for being prepared.

Andrew brought along his recipe book; filled with his favourite recipes (mostly recipes passed down from his mother) and set about making the squares while also doing the work we had been tasked with: meanwhile I looked on, took some pictures (I promise I didn’t sneak a peek at his recipe), and plated cheese (yoshi!), desserts, whipped and piped brown butter and then… I de-boned arctic char – love that task (for reals.  It’s AWESOME).

Once baked and cooled (it would have been an unfair advantage to serve his warm and mine at room temperature), it was time for the taste-testing to begin.

On the panel:

Chefs Charlotte and Kshonze, Jen (front of the house, not in the picture), Krause (back of the house)

+ random diners.

I’ve served these guys before… 3 out of 4 picked my squares (yes!!!)

these two guys were randomly selected – and both picked my squares as well :0)

another table of 4 participated – all friends of mine.  They split down the middle: half liked mine, and the other half picked Andrew’s.

Then it was time for the staff to pick.

The result: a split down the middle.  TIE!

Yes… I am aware that you shouldn’t have an even number of judges … but we did.  And this is what happened … who would have thought that it would go that way? 

Both Andrew and I also tasted each others recipes – and we agreed that his recipe hits you in the mouth and that mine hits you in the throat … both delish – but I won’t lie – I like mine better. 

That probably has everything to do with the fact that every time I bake and eat one of them, I think of my grandmother … and she really, truly did make THE BEST date squares.  EVER.

6 thoughts on “throw-down @ the whalesbone

  1. Hopefully I am not stepping out of line here but I had a chance to unofficially judge both date squares at an off-site undisclosed location.

    This is what I can tell you about why they tied. Andrew’s date square was without question a DATE square. Lots of date filling. Lynne’s date square had a sneaky, tricky, mysterious, captivating flavour of citrus in her crust. Turns out it was lemon. Not a lot of date though. Dainty that way.

    I couldn’t decide so I just flipped a coin in my head and picked. Not telling which one because it doesn’t matter.

    Put Andrew’s filling with Lynne’s crust and watch out all you date square throwdown challengers. They will mop the floor with you.

  2. I would have love to have been able to taste test both! They both look delicious. My Mom always made date square at Christmas and hers were the best (for me) I still only make date squares using her recipe. They has a tinge of citrus flavour in them as well, only it’s orange and not lemon.

  3. Aw… Now I’m feeling all nostalgic for MY grandmother’s date squares. Man, there was just something about those squares—filled as they were with cups of deliciousness, tablespoons of love, ounces of grandmotherly patience—that even now, years later, taints the flavours of any other date square I taste. To be fair, I’m sure my memories of baking with her (date squares, banana bread, oatmeal-raisin cookies, lemon meringue pie…yum) have grown unreliably pleasant as the years go by. At the time, I’m sure I was just some exuberant, annoying, flour-covered kid whose she was kind enough to put up with while she went about her work. But whatever, I’ll rewrite my memories however I damn well please.

    So, here’s what I think: to make me happy, you should devote an entry to the Things That Remind Platonic Jeff of this Beloved Grandmother. Doesn’t that sound fun?

    In any case, wish I had been there Friday night. I totally would have cast the deciding vote in this contest.

    -(Platonic) Jeff

  4. No, you’ve got it. That’s exactly what I was thinking 🙂

    Well, I suppose we could omit the lemon meringue pie. I’ve sampled yours, which was, in case I didn’t moan loudly enough last time I had it, among the best lemon meringue pies I’ve ever tasted.

  5. Pingback: edgar … 4.0 « the twisted chef

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