Casper teens heading to national culinary contest

By Sally Ann Shurmur

Casper Star-Tribune

Published: Wednesday, March 28 2012 4:55 p.m. MDT

The quartet wants The Golden Crescendo to be "a social dining experience worth remembering," with a target market of folks 35 to 57. Their restaurant can seat 236 patrons at once and has a minimum number of freezers, instead opting for using "the freshest product at all times."

The Facebook marketing campaign will include coupons for 10 percent off the bill or a free dessert for "Liking" the page, and there will be a rotating cycle of coupons for each email campaign as well.

The team received 29 points out of a maximum 30 at the state competition.

Over in the sewing room, the culinary team goes through its preparation another time. They have one hour to prepare a four-course meal with two propane burners. All ingredients, including coolers and water, must be carried in.

Byrd's dish has created some angst. Originally promoted and prepared as "Blackened Cajun," a judge at state thought the spices were a bit too bold. But regular salt and pepper on Monday did not do the job blackening the buffalo, and while very tasty, Byrd and Hopper were unhappy with the results.

"We're going back to spicy," Hopper said.

Raider Nelson prepares the two accompaniments for the entree, buttery herbed polenta and curry fried brussels sprouts, while Tyler Van Antwerp prepares the pan-seared duck and constantly barks out inquiries and encouragement to his team members. He is also the keeper of the timers, notifying Kori Taylor how much time she has left, as well as the rest of the team.

Taylor oils balloons, inflates them, then makes chocolate marbled teacups by swirling liquid white and dark chocolate over the bottoms and up the sides of the inflated balloons. When the chocolate is hardened, she takes a pair of scissors, deflates the balloon and then with the deftness of a surgeon, uses silicone-tipped tweezers to pull the balloon out of the chocolate cup.

The cup is then filled with raspberry mousse and an amazing culinary/chemistry feat of raspberry juice and chemicals that results in molecular raspberry caviar, which tastes like raspberries but has the consistency of small balls of caviar.

Just another March Monday morning in Glenrock.