Mauro and Alex arrived with Valeria on Saturday, 14 September and theirs was only to be a brief visit. Adri had sent Mauro to stay as he needed a rest and Alex was at a loose end waiting for her uni results. Once settled in we went back ashore to do some food shopping, and so the competition began!
I innocently asked Alex if she liked salmon and scrambled eggs. Her response was along the lines that she made the best damned eggs and salmon ever. Game on. Mauro set to selecting meat for the BBQ and fish and cream cheese while Alex went in search of risotto rice and chicken for a special Curitiba risotto.
To ensure impartiality in the competition we obviously had to invite some guest judges and so Alex found herself cooking for 6, with Wolfgang and Barbara from Pink Penguin joining the judging panel. It was a fabulous meal, and despite Alex never having cooked so much rice before it all went and the plates and pan were so clean washing up was a doddle. 10 out 10 awarded all round.
Day 2 of the competition, Sunday, saw Alex delivering the ‘Best Damned Scrambled Eggs and Salmon’ as promised, which set us up for a day visiting Dubrovnik with Barbara and Wolfgang.
Coincidentally Marcia, a Brazilian girl who lives in Rayleigh and had met Valeria just once happened to be on holiday in Dubrovnik. So we had to meet up with her and her fiance Mark and extend an invitation to join us on the following day, Day 3 of Masterchef Dubrovnik.
But back on board and still on Day 2 Mauro rustled up an awesome Fish and Cream Cheese dish for dinner. On the following morning, Monday, Day 3, he produced Banana Pancakes for breakfast. At 9 am guest judges Marcia and Mark joined us and we set of for Lopud for the day, planning to anchor, have a BBQ, swim and generally chill.
In a break from the galley Mauro was put in charge of weighing the anchor and Alex was given the helm for the passage down the river. It was almost like being on a proper ship. The Captain was chatting with her new BFF, the Officer of the Watch and Helms(wo)man were on the bridge piloting the vessel down river as the Bosun secured the anchor for sea!!!!
But back to Day 3 of the competition, and it was into Mauro’s speciality, the BBQ. In addition to his own choice of meat Marcia and Mark had brought along some surprise items for the grill, as well as Prosseco and, more importantly, six 1.5 litre bottles of water. They were the only people who took me seriously when I said ‘water’ in response to the question “Can I bring anything!”
The BBQ was fantastic and after we’d eaten we spent the rest of the afternoon chatting, relaxing and swimming. Alex and I went to explore the rocks along the shoreline taking the GoPro along, finding an interesting selection of sea life.
We returned to the river as the sun went down and Marcia and Mark left us later that evening. This had been the final day of their holiday and were due to return home the following morning.
Day 4 started well with Alex knocking up more salmon and scrambled eggs and then it was into the Team Work segment of the competition. Alex displayed her multi tasking abilities discussing carbs and proteins with Mauro as she steered us down river and they decided to use whatever they could find in the fridge to make a meal. To be honest there wasn’t much left but they still came up with meat balls by Mauro in Alex’s home made tomato sauce with spaghetti.
We’d decided that as the following day was the last day of the competition we’d take advantage of 2 days of good weather to sail down to Cavtat. That way Alex and Mauro would have a very short trip to the airport and we’d easily be able to clear immigration as we left Croatia on our way to Montenegro.
That evening we decided to go ashore for a last meal to remind ourselves what ordinary mortals ate. But then, over dinner Alex let slip that she’d used store bought passatta in her home made tomato sauce on the day before! Mauro protested and after a discussion Valeria and I decided the the Competition would have to be re run, preferably over an entire week, or two, and not just a couple of days!!! Dates to follow.
More seriously. Valeria and I had a fantastic few days and we are fairly sure our guests did too. Mauro has been to stay with us more than anyone else and keeps coming back for more but poor Alex was chucked right in at the deep end, this being her first time on a boat! It was also lovely to meet Marcia and Mark properly and to spend more time with Wolfgang and Barbara.