The Best Cook in New Vrindaban Is…..

The First Annual Lord Jagannath Cooking Contest and Food Festival took place this past Friday, February 1st to the delight of numerous devotee taste buds here in New Vrindaban Dham.

The program began in front of Lord Jagannath’s altar, with a few wondrous devotional tunes sung by our local maestro, HG Devananda Pandit Prabhu, followed by a spirited telling of Lord Jagannath’s original pastimes in America with Srila Prabhupada and the devotees in San Francisco, told by HG Malati Prabhu. We were even treated to the “fruit punch” pastime, making all the devotees assembled vow to never take any bhogi drinks from hippies ever again.


The fun then headed to the Guest Prasad Hall, where the Cooking Contest was fired up. The esteemed judges (HG Balabadra Prabhu, Dr. Nick, and HG Tejomaya Prabhu) were all experienced masters of the fine intricacies of texture, taste, and soulful impact that make up the prasad experience.


Our contestants produced a wide variety of dishes, from pastas such as lasagna and ravioli, a bean burger made from organically grown-beans from our own local gardens, and many sumptuous sweets as burfi, apple crisp, and even a genuine chocolate eclair.


For these poor judges, the arduous task of tasting such delights was almost too much to handle, but they trudged through the austerities of transcendental flavor, and after much careful deliberation and re-tasting, it was decided that Mother Dhara’s Homemade Burfi was the winner!


The Lasagna made by Mother Saci came in a close second, and all the assembled devotees proceeded to feast upon said lasagna and all the wondrous Jagannath-maha.

Future Dham contests may include a strongman contest, or a devotee decathlon. I vote for a cricket tournament. Stay tuned here to Brijabasi Spirit for more details.

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