This idea has come up a few times in recent years: that we could have our own cookbook competition, similar to the Piglet, but with us CHers as judges. I'm volunteering to coordinate such an event if we want to make it happen. What follows is a brief outline of how I envision it working, and I'd like your comments and suggestions. When we settle on the format and timeline, we can begin the competition. In future years, I'd like to think we'd get an earlier start on it, but there is no reason why we can't do this now, for 2017 books.
We would start with a nomination thread. For this year's contest, any book published in 2017 would be eligible. We might have an issue with books with different publication dates in the US vs UK or wherever the book was originally published. We need to discuss how to handle that.
When the nomination period closes, the top 16 books would be placed into a bracket. The coordinator would formulate the bracket.
For round 1, the eight head-to-head competitions would happen simultaneously, with one thread for each. Chowhound participants would report on the recipes just like in COTM. You could cook from as few or as many books as you like, but to vote in a head-to-head competition, you would have needed to have cooked from both books in that contest. I think reporting on recipes made prior to the competition period should be allowed.
When the contest period closes, the coordinator would post on each thread a list of those eligible to vote. The "judges" would then post their decision, with their rationale. The coordinator would tabulate the results, and the winning books would go on to round two. Round two and subsequent rounds would follow the same rules.
Some things to think about and discuss:
How much time should we allow for nominations? How much time for the first cooking round, which would involve 16 books? How much time for subsequent rounds? I think later rounds would require less time, because recipes made for prior rounds would still count. It wouldn't be as if you had to start afresh with each new round, although you might begin cooking from a book that has advanced that you didn't cook from in round 1.
Should only people who have made at least one recipe from each book be allowed to vote? Or should we allow people who have been following and read the reports to vote. If the latter, how would we avoid it becoming a popularity contest, with people being encouraged on social media to come vote for book X? (This is why I'm thinking someone needs to report on a recipe to vote).
Should we have a requirement that if you nominate a book for the competition, you will cook from that book? In order for this to work, we are going to have to have someone committing to cook from each book, and the book it goes up against.
Just a few of the many things to consider. And then there's a name. Let the discussion begin!
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