Last week, I was recruited to be a celebrity* judge at a Taste of Dallas cooking demo. (*”Celebrity” has become a vastly undervalued term, obviously.) My mission: Watch the Dallas Mavericks ManiAACs — the group of plus-sized men who serve as zaftig cheerleaders for the basketball team — prepare, Iron Chef-like, meals made completely out of the junk food you’d buy at gas station food marts: Vienna sausages and queso and Doritos, for example. I probably shouldn’t have agreed, but they called me at noon on a Tuesday, so I was already pretty drunk.
The event, though, was a huge success, even from my slightly squeamish perspective (and despite the host continually calling me “Arthur”). First among the pleasures were the ManiAACs themselves — five super-friendly, super-talented dancers who know some moves. Most of those moves, though, were not in the kitchen.
The food was OK. I had to compare two meals, one savory, the other sweet. The savory one was a combination of normal dishes, compartmentalized on a plate but not mixed: Kraft macaroni & cheese, baked beans (the real kind, not the candy), cheesy puffed corn treats, something else. The dessert was more daring: A plate smeared with peanut butter, piled on with Cinnamon Toast Crunch and coconut mini-doughnuts and edged with Wheat Thins. I took a shot of insulin after one bite.
I gave the dessert, from Team B, the title, not only for concept, creativity and presentation, but because of the instructions they gave me about how to eat it. Imagine that: Fat guys who have ideas about how to eat food.
Here’s the winning dish: