Duckathlon 2006 - D'Artagnan Scavenger Hunt

Duckathlon 2006

Once again, the Lartigue family, friends of Ariane Daughin (proprieter of
D'Artagnan) from her home in Gascogne, allowed me to join their team as we battled several restaurant teams in 19 different tasks.

(Bérangère Lartigue, me, Jean-Charles and Mme. Lartigue = Team Gers Gasconge)

Some of the teams this year included ones from: Daniel, Alain Ducasse, Anita Lo and her team from Rickshaw Dumpling House, the executive chef at Gracie Mansion and his teamates from the Mayor's Office, The Four Season, Craft, The Ryland Inn, Beacon, THOR, BLT Steak and Fish, No. 9 Park and others. Helene Darroze didn't make it this year, nor did Anthony Bourdain but who needs them when Jacques Pepin was in attendance, and who, according to the Gothamist, had quite a bit of fun in a kiddie pool. You can read the Gothamist's account by going


Long story short, the weather didn't dampen our moods...but a ton of wine and champagne (before we even started), duck products, bread and other tasty items tend to help make one forget about the rain.

And then the rain let up. Blue, cloudless skies appeared just as we were leaving the Chelsea Market tasks.

I was quite proud to have been able to flip the "plastic" omelette - using my left hand - 70 times within a minute...beating out the first 5 teams to attempt this.

I did well with the spice tests at Spice Market...which, by the way, is beautiful. I had yet to see the inside of this restuarant and must confess...I wanted to not like it...but found it impossible. I'll have to give the food a shot sometime.

But I failed in the flower tests (name 5 tropical plants - I got 1 right, our team as a whole got 2) and was tricked into thinking my wine guesses were wrong - bastards. We would have aced that test otherwise.

In any event, this continues to be one my most anticipated food events of the year. The challenge of speaking French, nearly a decade after taking any French classes, makes it all that much better. Plus my teammates are simply a wonderful family.

Merci Ariane for putting this together again!


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