Perfect Summer Day

Last Saturday, Tiff hosted an Iron Chef-inspired competition that she titled “Perfect Summer Day Party”—and it really was! She lives in RiverWest Condominiums in downtown Minneapolis, just between the Missississippi River and the downtown skyline. We spent the whole day outside on the 2nd floor courtyard, chilling in and around the pool and staking out the three grills for the competition at 3 p.m. (We did share one of the grills, but not while the competition was happening.)

The View

Blowing Up Pool Toys

Nick and Chris Prep Vegetables

Girls in Flower Bras

Warr in Flower Bra


This guy introduced himself as Captain Creep-o. It was barely 2 p.m. and he was trashed already. Or maybe that’s just how he is.


Really Awesome 

This salsa was awesome. You should look for it in your local co-op’s refrigerated section.

Beginning the Competition

Pineapple was the secret ingredient for the cook-off. Unfortunately there was only one pineapple to split among three chefs, so the dishes didn’t register as very pineapple-y in the end. The chefs all cooked furiously for an hour, and Tiff was our enthusiastic narrator.

Tiff Narrates

Three Chefs, Three Grills

Nick's Station

Handful of Tahini

Next time: less kitchen, more utensils.

Dave with Dolphin

Pile of Inflatables

Why do inflatable toys make a pool party more fun? Bobbing around in the water with other people while just talking to each other? Preposterous.

Toe-Pointing Action


Action Shots

Warr kept asking me if I wanted to take photos of him doing stuff. That was entertaining for a while.


Riley Hayes

We were grilling right above this cute little building. Wouldn’t it be fun and refreshing to work in such a creative space? I think so. (Hello, Riley Hayes. Are you hiring?)

Three Grills

Feet in Water

Maybe I go swimming in too many lakes and rivers, but this pool was just amazing. So clean and blue. It would’ve been perfect for penny diving.

Warr in Water

Pool and Skyline

Chris presented kebabs

Crystal presented family-style tacos

Judges on their first bite

Nathan taking a photo of me

This is Nathan. I stole a few photos of the day from him. I also stole some from Tiff. What’re ya gonna do?

Me taking a photo of Nathan

Judges Scoring

The judges, Ann, Josh, and Sarah, wrote their scores on paper plates. That worked okay. (Next time someone should make a list of necessities the day before the competition. Or does that make it too serious?)

Announcer and Chefs

Our Announcer, Jeremy, read off the scores and the judges’ notes about each chef. Then announced that Crystal won! She was awarded a sweet Lucha Libre mask.

Crystal won!

Chris kept cooking

Duck Luchador

This duck comes to every party. I don’t know the joke about him, but he takes good photos.

Pool Party!

Pool and Skyline

I just can’t get over what a fantastic day it was! I hope the weather repeats itself this coming weekend.

There are many, many more photos from this day on Flickr.

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