Making Your Mark

The date is set, you have registered your team with a great creative name and now its time to figure out how to make your mark on the race.

Obviously the biggest way to make your mark is to win but since only one team can actually win there are other great ways to make your mark during the race. Just think, you have already made your first mark with your team name, you have put thought and creativity into it so lets make the second mark you leave a costume!

A costume sounds kind of daunting I know especially with only one week to race day but it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few quick and easy tips:

  • Think comfort, remember you will be getting in and out of a vehicle for most of the day. You don’t want to be in something that impedes your movement or race progress
  • Think t-shirts, they are a cheap and affordable way to make your team stand out, add some craft paint and glue some items on the represent your team name
  • Iron on transfers offer many options

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  • wool strings and puff balls (spaghetti & meatballs)
  • corks or bottle caps

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  • sparkles or sequins (bubbles from drinks)
  • use paint to make plain t-shirts into jerseys, put numbers and food names on the back and your team name on the front (puff paint works great for this)

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  • Fabric cut out in shapes work great (last year the Dirty Martinis looked great!)

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  • Hats, hats are an excellent way to create a costume, they are easy to take off when traveling and can garner some excellent attention. Again don’t be afraid to glue items to cheap hats or headbands that represent your team name,
    • plastic cutlery (may the forks be with you)
    • empty boxes or packaging
    • Drink stir sticks (think olives from a martini)
    • Plastic food items or toys
    • Construction paper (shaped to a hat can make a great pot)
  • Look into coveralls, try to stay light so think painters coveralls. You can get them cheap and a little paint on the back can transform you into a fun and easy to spot team
  • Add accessories, cooking aprons, chef hats, whisks, wooden spoons etc. things that are light and safe to carry but make sure they are not too expensive incase you accidentally leave them at one your race locations

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  • Not the creative DYI type? Hit up the local party store you can pick up some great costume pieces like grass skirts, coconut bras, colour coordinated hats etc.

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  • Lastly and above all remember comfortable shoes, you never know how far you might decide to walk between locations so forgo fashion here for a pair of shoes that you love and will keep you going all day!

If costuming really isn’t your thing there are other fun ways to leave your mark on the race,

  • Be friendly, don’t be afraid to talk to other teams, if you see them on the race road say hi and help to point them in the right direction, see how they are doing and talk about how things are going
  • Take the time to enjoy the race experiences, talk with the vendors, enjoy the samples, learn more about where you are and what they offer
  • Don’t be afraid to tackle silly challenges and make sure your social media accounts are ready to go, post, post, post! Take silly pictures, make videos, post funny comments and even a little friendly smack talk can be fun. Remember, the race organizers will be following all your moves on social media so take advantage of it!

Most of all remember to have fun no matter what else you do!

Hoping to help you all make your mark I am,

Your Everyday Foodie!

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Tips & Tricks from Past Winners

Champions should always retire on a high note. As 2016 winners of not just Culinary Race but the Culinaire Treasure Hunt, Team Statler and Waldorf (the cantankerous and opinionated Muppet critics) are doing just that, opening the door for a new champion to emerge.

Many people wondered – how can you possibly win both events? I am sharing with you tips and tricks to take our place on the podium in 2017.

First and foremost, have a game plan. The key is to have a strategist and an executor on your team. Take the time to answer all the clues at the start location. Make sure to read all the foodie publications Calgary puts out every month year round to stay on top of the food news. Put Google to work to hammer out the details and write down location addresses. Write clearly!

After your list of stops is complete, organize your destinations into segments of the city. Choose a strategy of outskirts to inner city, busy areas in the morning or whatever works for you.  Just create your own organized map and hope that all of your answers and addresses are correct! Backtracking from the far NW to the SE is like a 10 second penalty in a 100 metre sprint – it will keep you off of the podium.

The next detail is to choose who is driver and who is navigator. It will help when one of you knows faster routes in case of construction delays and good (free!) parking spots. Do not speed or perform any other illegal traffic act – the cost will negate potential earnings.

It is also prudent to point out that it helps to have no fear. Confidence and a few kitchen skills come in handy when faced with tasks.  Be aware of your team’s individual skills – who is best with a knife and who knows their booze best.

Last but most important, embrace the day and appreciate the time and effort all of the vendors have put into participating. Have fun, stop for photo ops and remember to keep supporting these businesses long after the crumbs settle.

BJ

Follow BJ on twitter: @bjoudman

Photos from the Culinary Race 2016

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Tips for Race day & how we got our groove back

IMG_8135I love a good race or scavenger hunt, ever since I was a child. So when I heard about the Culinary Race I was hooked on the idea. I was a little nervous heading into the day. My boyfriend and I are competitive and to be honest we hadn’t done anything like this in the year and a half we had been together so I wasn’t sure how this would all play out. Bill is a planner and knows the city well. I on the other hand have only been here for 5 years and can’t navigate the south part of the city very well.  We met the rest of the teams at the market and came armed with pens, extra paper, highlighters, and our phones. Butterflies in the stomach but also super excited!

Off we went on an adventure that would take us around the city to areas I had never been to, locations I had never seen and I discovered this city is always so much larger then I think it is! Each location had a challenge to be completed or sample to be tasted. Our backseat was starting to fill, full of coupons, food, and gifts from all the places we had been so far. Everything was great!
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Then bam, just like on the Amazing Race something didn’t quite go as planned. We got a clue wrong and went to the wrong place. By this point we thought maybe we aren’t going to win today. Like most couples we argued for a few minutes over whose fault it was and drove in silence to the next location. It was that next location that we realized we were having way to much fun to be mad or angry at each other. We ran into other teams having so much fun, it was contagious. We had our groove back! We still made some mistakes and had a few wrong guesses. But at the end of the day we found so many places near our neighborhood that we couldn’t wait to go back and try. A few of them we visited in the weeks following the race and they were so happy we remembered them and came back for a meal or bottle of wine.

We love food and trying new things and the race provided us with just that. But it ended up being so much more. We learned so much about each other and how we operate as a unit. For us this race was a day of team building for our relationship. With full bellies and countless coupons we arrived at the finish line!

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To this day we still talk about how much fun we had and how we couldn’t wait for next year!

Tips for the day:
I am not going to give away our strategy (did I mention we are competitive?) but I will give you some tips!

– Bring extra devices besides your phone, like a tablet, just in case your phones dies while you are looking up the clues

– Make sure you have a charger in the car and plenty of data to use the maps app!

-Plan before you leave the first location, and don’t be afraid to take a break in the car and re group if you don’t know what to do next

-Bring extra pens and paper so you can keep track of where you have been where you are going

-Fill your tank full of gas before the race. Nothing more frustrating then stopping the momentum for gas

-Bring water you’ll be snacking and drinking most of the day but we found ourselves running a few times

-Wear a comfy costume (again we ran a lot)

-Remember the day is about discovering new places and making a fool out yourself while you do an espresso shot and jumping on one foot.

-Kate