Thursday, February 24, 2011

Asados El Patio

Fried Plantains and pickles.

After two previous trips to Managua, one thing that I've learned is that Julio Peralta doesn't disappoint. Julio loves food and knows just where in Nicaragua to go and find the best cuisine this country has to offer. Everywhere we've been has always been good and tonight we're at Asados El Patio where the bottle of Flor de Cana 7 year Gran Reserva is flowing and the meat is a plenty.

It's nice to be back in Managua.

Ana and Julio.

Chimichurri and salsa for the meat.

The Meat.

Fries and Fried Cheese.

Rice and Beans.

Julio and Eric.

Nicaragua Judges Training, Day One

Judges training begins in Managua.

Taking a disparate group of people, with varying levels of experience and training them to become qualified judges is a difficult task in and of itself. It's hard enough to do it in a language you speak fluently, but in a secondary language where your own capacity is just enough to get around town and order food? Muy dificil, to say the least!

Last week we were lucky. Armed with a couple of experienced bi-lingual judges, we were ready to handle any presentation - happily, in El Salvador, everyone was bi-lingual which meant that we could conduct the training class in English, everyone would understand and no one was the wiser.

They set up a private buffet for us!

Fast forward to Managua, where the judging pool doesn't really speak English and I don't "really" speak Spanish and we could be in for a little trouble. Typically, I'm along for the ride as a sensory or tech judge and Rouki or Jose are usually leading the training classes. This time, I'm in the driver's seat and I need to make sure that everyone understands the instruction and is qualified enough to judge the championship in two days.

So when they asked me who would I like to come along and help, I knew I needed someone with judging experience, as well as someone who could translate for me so that the judges would understand. Luckily, Ana is fluent in both and while the training started out with me lecturing and then Ana translating what I said into Spanish, after a while I realized that was both foolish and redundant and within an hour or so, I just let her lead the class with me there to make sure that the curriculum was being followed and to answer any questions that she might not have the answer.

Judges eat.

Ana lectures about visual cappuccinos.

Reviewing just how much is five grams waste.