Well, friends, it’s been long-promised and today is the day: We did a cooking battle live and we’re excited to share the results. Zach was visiting LA, Vince lives in the city, and I’m an easy drive away. The stars aligned.
In our neverending quest to entertain you, we invited comedians Matt Lieb, Francesca Fiorentini, James Kirkland, and Anna Valenzuela to roast us live. Uproxx’s publisher Jarret Myer came through too, as did writers Allison Sanchez and Mike Botticello. We also invited Joe — a longtime Uproxx reader who was taller and more attractive than all of us — to the roast/ feast. I won’t use his last name, because he also has a super cool military job that he can’t talk about, but needless to say the dude fit in great and our fans are the freaking coolest.
We’ll get right to it with no more preamble, but please do check out one of Anna or Matt‘s standup shows, or watch Francesca on NatGeo, or read James’ new book in which basketball legend Bill Walton stars as a private detective. Or do all of those things. All of our guests (except secretive Joe) are also on Twitter: Jarret Myer, Allison Sanchez, Mike Botticello, James Kirkland, Anna Valenzuela, Matt Lieb, and Francesca Fiorentini.
BLT Showdown — 1) Vince 2) Zach 3) Steve
Mac & Cheese Showdown — 1) Vince 2) (tie) Zach, Steve
Taco Showdown — 1) Steve 2) Zach 3) Vince
Winter Stew Showdown — 1) Zach 2) Steve 3) Vince
Date Night Showdown — 1) Zach 2) Vince 3) Steve
Pasta Showdown — 1) Steve 2) Zach 3) Vince
Hot Beef Showdown — 1) Zach 2) Vince 3) Steve
Shellfish Showdown — 1) Vince 2) Zach 3) Steve
BBQ Showdown — 1) Steve 2) Zach 3) Vince
Pumpkin Spice Showdown — 1) (tie) Vince, Zach 2) Steve
Thanksgiving Side Dish Showdown — 1) Vince 2) Steve 3) Zach
Christmas Dessert Showdown — 1) Steve 2) Vince 3) Zach
Chili Cook-off Showdown — 1) Zach 2) Steve 3) Vince
Nacho Showdown — 1) Vince 2) Steve 3) Zach
Burger Showdown — 1) Zach 2) Vince 3) Steve
Breakfast Burrito Showdown — 1) Vince 2) Zach 3) Steve
Fried Noodle Showdown — 1) Steve 2) Zach 3) Vince
Fried Chicken Sandwich Showdown — 1) Vince 2) Steve 3) Zach
Christmas Dessert Showdown Rematch: 1) Zach 2) Steve 3) Vince
Italian Comfort Food Showdown: 1) Steve 2) (tie) Zach & Vince
Date Night Showdown Part II: 1) Vince 2) Zach 3) Steve
We’re giving three points to the winner and one to second place for each round. As it stands, the score is:
VINCE’S ARMENIAN-SPICED ĆEVAPCICI WITH TOUM AND PITA
So it looks like it’s my turn to be the “too-long explanation guy” this week. I apologize in advance. I heard “party food” and my mind immediately went Middle Eastern, since almost all Middle Eastern food kind of feels like it’s intended to be served hot from a grill at some kind of chill kicker, where everyone’s kind of lounging around on couches and stuff.
My direct inspirations were: 1. Armenian food, which I sort of grew up with, my mom being half Armenian, and 2. Cevapcici, a kind of Balkan sausage that I discovered a few Summers ago. A friend and I had driven all day, from Dubrovnik in Croatia, down through Kotor, Montenegro, and up through a series of incredibly small, weird roads that felt like someone’s driveway until we finally got to smoky Sarajevo, in Bosnia. We were starved half to death by the time we got there, and we asked our tour guide for a recommendation. “Do you like meat? Do you like beer?” our tour guide asked (Bosnian Muslims seem to take the whole alcohol prohibition thing a lot less seriously than other Muslims).