We still had one more competitor for the day, Chef Mike. He was scheduled for 7pm so after having the afternoon off we were all back in the convention center at around 6-630pm and we were all in pretty high spirits. Chef Mike’s parents were even there to watch him compete for the first time.
After some chit chatting here and there, his turn came and I must say that he was off to a good start. He was placed in front and near us so we had a very good view of what was happening. I was at awe watching him because I don’t think that I’ve ever seen anyone who was as clean and precise as him. He really cleaned his station every time he moved on to something. In my head I couldn’t help but marvel at him and how he worked. I’ve never seen anyone so clean!
Things were progressing well and he was going faster than any of his practice sessions so we were all feeling good. We only got thrown a bit when a judge looked at us and asked us if the guy behind him was with us. Since there were two of them behind him and Chef Mike was one of them, we answered yes. He said that he had too much trash and wasted food in his bin. When he said that, that’s when we knew it wasn’t Chef Mike because he barely had any excess food thrown and the guy in front of him had heaps of potatoes in the trash.
Chef Mike finished first and he was about 5 mins under time. We were all ready to go home after all the dishes were presented because we knew that the results would still be in tomorrow. As we were waiting for his debriefing, a filipino who was part of the organizing committee of HOFEX, went up to us and asked what we were waiting for. He asked if it was the results and we said no just the debriefing but then we asked if the results would come in tonight and he said yes.
Chef Mike was debriefed and we were quite surprised by the comments. When the results came in, we were even more surprised. He only got a bronze and the guy who wasted so much potatoes in front of him got a silver! We were at a loss for words. I, personally, couldn’t understand it. In my eyes, I actually thought that Chef Mike deserved a gold or a silver at the very least.
We all had a lot of questions. Why weren’t there any senior judges present? Why were there no judges inside at least 15 minutes into the contest? Was it because it was the last one? We were able to accept their verdict but we wanted to understand why. How was the rating of Chef Mike done? So many questions and yet no answers could be given.
I guess so many things really happen during competitions that you really just won’t be able to tell what the outcome could be. Chef Mike said that this was the contest he was most prepared for and yet it was his lowest standing ever. Was it disappointing? Yes but we can’t let that instance throw us off. Unforseen things happen and I guess no matter what we should be able to get past these things and accept that we have done our best and we can just strive do even better next time.
Here are some photos of Chef Mike: