Encouraged to be adventurous in their ordering (including experiments with venison carpaccio and duck foie gras at Chambar and spicy jerk chicken and curry at Calabash), the budding foodies were also given license to inspect and comment on everything from the cleanliness of the washrooms and chefs' uniforms to the comfiness of the furniture, ambience, and overall decor. Asked to write up their thoughts for the blog accompanying the project (see eatdastreet.blogspot.com, which also includes ample visual and other documentation provided by O'Donnell), the students also came up with the final award categories and composed their respective jury citations for the various winners. Most of the participating students, plus a few alumni from Children's Choice and Haircuts, took a turn presenting an award this afternoon, and I have to say they were all very discriminating critics--not to mention, in several cases, born performers. Conscripted to represent Nicli Antica, whose representatives were unable to attend the ceremony, I am pleased to say that I picked up three awards on their behalf: Best Ice Cream; Best Smelling Washroom; and, finally, Scariest Washroom, the kids apparently having been spooked by how loud the self-flushing toilets are.
It was a huge amount of fun, and a delight to see how O'Donnell and assistant Donna coaxed even the shiest of students out of their shells. Best of all, it was announced that MDR is launching a Western Mammalian offshoot and plans to continue its hugely successful and creative partnership with the students and staff of Bridgeview, whose principal was also on hand to attest to how rewarding that partnership has so far been.
I can't wait to see what O'Donnell and the students cook up next. In the meantime, it's off to Club PuSh tonight, for Taylor Mac's Comparison is Violence show, and of course the not-to-be-missed PuSh Wrap Party.
Me getting my haircut by a Bridgeview student at the 2008 PuSh Festival