Thursday, December 3, 2015

Midtown Community Court Potluck

By Adam Friedl, Deputy Director

At Midtown Community Court, we have much to be thankful for this year. In addition to our great court partners, this includes the expansion of Project Reset to our court, the continued success of our Youth Adolescent Diversion and Alternatives to Prostitution calendars, and the impact made by our UPNEXT program. And the hiring of a dashing, cooly-professional-yet-rakishly-handsome new Deputy Director. To celebrate our good fortune, we held a Thanksgiving potluck and competitive cook-off for staff on November 18--winner to be decided by vote of all the eaters in attendance.

Staff from across departments (the Judge, court officers, and other court partners included!) came together at lunch to partake in a truly over-the-top spread consisting of no less than 17 delicious dishes from cuisines around the globe. Good cheer, good people, good food--there was a genuine sense of the Midtown family coming together to celebrate and give thanks to our colleagues for all their hard work. But make no mistake, the stakes were high and competition fierce--especially after the Great Flan Controversy of Potluck 2014 (I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say some votes were called into question. People here take their flan very seriously). Fortunately, in early 2015 Midtown hired an unquestionably fair and trustworthy new Deputy Director whose integrity is beyond reproach, so confidence in the vote counting this year wasn’t an issue.

In a wide-open field, votes went to dishes all across the table. But, in the end, four separate dishes tied for first place: Luis’s flan, Mohammed’s chicken biryani, Aissatou’s thiebou guinar (Senegalese chicken with rice), and Cara’s chocolate-covered strawberries stuffed with cheesecake. As if on cue, however, Lt. Crisafulli arrived fashionably late and, after a hearty sampling, was able to cast the deciding vote... for the thiebou guinar! Aissatou’s hard-fought victory earned her an Amazon gift card, the title (and accompanying crown/scepter) of Midtown Potluck Champ 2015, and the grudging respect of her fellow chefs.

Until next year then, friends! Happy holiday season to everyone and start working on your new dishes now. I hear there is a very humble, yet incredibly talented Deputy Director who has a deft hand with the spices...