What: The Twin Cities Pie Experiment
When: 1 p.m., Sunday
Where: The Fine Line Music CafÃ©, 318 N. First Ave.,Minneapolis
Cost: $10 admission (includes pie and one beer)
The brainchild of two culinary crazies, the Food Experiments Tour is a series of cook-offs culminating in a final showdown in Brooklyn. The tour stops at 15 cities around the states (and one in Sweden), pitting amateur chefs against one another in different food-themed contests, all in the search for what they have deemed “Gloria Culinarius!”
Chicago was sausage, Austin was tacos, Pittsburgh was dumplings and the Twin Cities will be filled with pie.
“We always try to choose a theme that’s open-ended; we’re an experiment,” Theo Peck, one of the events co-creators, said. “Every theme has to have a broad spectrum of different ways to be expressed. For example, we did a taco experiment and I wanted to see a riff on the chocolate taco.”
The Food Experiments in its current form is in its second year and continues to expand its horizons with the help of Brooklyn Brewery’s sponsorship.
“Nick [Suarez] and Theo really nailed it with their organization and really present themselves in a fun and accessible way,” Ben Hudson, of Brooklyn Brewery, said. “In looking to reach a similar community outside of Brooklyn, I asked them to go on the road and so we started co-producing this tour.”
The winners of each of the stops get flown to Brooklyn for one last battle. The tour will put them up in a hotel, shuttle the finalists around on a Brooklyn “food tour,” give away thousands of dollars of gear from Le Creuset, Wusthof and Anolon among others — all in the ultimate goal of crowning the amateur with the best culinary chops.
“The national championship — it is the fiercest one because it is the best bite,” Peck said. “It’s whatever you think is the best bite that you can create, that’s the final experiment.”
Peck and Suarez first crossed kitchen wits in amateur cook-offs in their native Brooklyn. The competitive spirit of the events resulted in them quickly developing a friendly rivalry. The desire for official organization and a love for cooking pushed the duo to create local events that have now spawned into a behemoth that is fast growing into a dream that they thought would never get this big.
“I’m not going to complain,” Peck said. “I love my job. I love what I’ve ended up doing.”
His love spills over into the events for all to see, aiding and abetting what is already an exciting time focused around food, beverage and community.
“People will see this for what it is: the best deal in town.” Hudson said. “You’re going to go to a party in the early afternoon, eat tons of good food and watch a few lucky amateur chefs freak out when they find out what they’ve won.”