For the past few weeks Utah County residents have noticed something peculiar about the 80 year old cars driving around town. No it is not the cars or the drivers they are finding peculiar, but instead the smell. Some cars are leaving a pleasant aroma, and others well…. the burning does not smell like oil or exhaust, but more like burning food. Club members have been preparing and testing their manifold recipes for this years Iron Chef competition. We had such a great time last year that Howard decided to up the ante and invited a professional chef to judge our meals. With bragging rights on the line, everyone has been trying diligently to nail that winning recipe.
Iron Chef participants met at Hearts gas station in American Fork where they prepped their cooking platform and hyped up their secret recipe’s, being sure not to disclose what they were hiding under their hood. After all participants were present we fired up our ‘skillets’ and headed for the canyon. We did not make it far before we lost our first contestant… Nicholas’ ‘kitchen’ and staff gave out before reaching the mouth of the canyon. After transferring Nicholas’ newly acquired Tudor and its passengers to Carlson’s rescue trailer they got back on the road. Nicholas left his meal on the manifold to try and take advantage of what heat was still available, a smart move that kept him in the competition.
Upon arriving at the canyon’s guard station, some took advantage of the pull out to rotate their dish, while others continued on as to not burn their meal. The majority of participants then stopped at the entrance to Timpanogos Cave. While some members tended to their meals, others diagnosed the condition of their ovens (some running rough or much too hot). All the while park guests and onlookers admired the cars and looked on in wonder at what these crazy folks were doing under their hoods.
From there we made our way to the final destination of Mile Rock campground. It was here that we were all too eager to show off what we have been concocting under our hoods. The preparation table was crowded with hungry Model A’ers frantically trying to finalize their masterpieces and present them to the judges. Aside from taste, we also made our best attempts to impress through presentation by garnishing and plating our meals. Although for some of us, the garnish was merely there to hide the burnt marks. Dishes consisted of traditional tin foil dinners, eggs and hash-browns, beef, chicken and even candied apples. The judges unanimously and enthusiastically agreed on Crockett’s perfectly cooked salmon on rice, quite a feat on a Model A manifold! They were awarded the trophy of a UVMAC toque and apron that they can proudly wear whenever they are in the kitchen.
After eating way too much food, which seems to be a common occurrence on Model A excursions, we headed up to Tibble Fork reservoir. Unfortunately by the time we made it to our favorite photo op spot, our 14 cars had dwindled to only 6 cars. Although the pictures were not nearly as impressive as they could be with 14 cars, we still got some good shots. In the end everyone had a good time and enjoyed the delicious food. Even Nicholas (who broke down 3 times) enjoyed the day.