Something’s in the air: Garlic!

Reprinted from the Palm Beach Post
By Jan Norris, Palm Beach Post Food Editor
Thursday, November 6, 2003

The air around here will be decidedly aromatic as the Fifth Annual Delray Beach Garlic Fest starts cooking this weekend.

A competition for the title of Garlic Chef will bring in name chefs from South Florida to vie for the smelly title. They’ll be “seeded” during cook-offs Saturday and Sunday, with the winners going head-to-head — and pan-to-pan — with two-time winner and reigning Garlic Chef, Alan Lake, in the final round Sunday afternoon.

The contest is loosely based on the Iron Chef competition. The chefs are given identical “mystery baskets” of food from which to create three dishes in a one-hour countdown. Garlic is the only ingredient in the basket they can be sure of.

Lake is ready to defend his title. A drummer for a jazz band when he’s not cooking, Lake thinks the music is what will bring him the win again.

“Given my background in music, and jazz in particular, it’s my nature to improvise. I feel that that ability gives me an edge when applied to my cooking, as they both come from the same place.” His competitors may know something about improvisation, too, he says, but “even if they’ve visited, they’ve never lived there.”

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