Ultimate cooking for 800 is no E3 Expo or Chelsea Bun party

Ultimate Firsbee Layout. Photo: Nick Cheng

My alter ego cooks for a living.  Every year since 1995, on the first weekend of June in Fergus, Ontario, I assume my position as caterer to upwards of 800 Ultimate Frisbee players. Fergus is a quaint and upscale hamlet in Wellington County on the picturesque Grand River, just upstream from the Elora Gorge.


This past weekend my catering team set up shop in the Fergus Sportsplex Community Centre kitchen to serve two breakfasts, one banquet supper and many snacks to 600. Do you remember two Chelsea FC players engaged in a cook-off this time last year? This cooking is not that. This is no Chelsea bun party. It’s no E3 video game simulation. Ultimate cooking is trench warfare. Good thing I’ve a few War Horses to see me through the barb.


The Gender Blender Co-ed Ultimate Frisbee Tournament was realized by two former teammates, Dan Berman and Mark Evans. They brought me on board to feed the masses and coincidentally, one week before that first event back in ’95, I tore my ACL, effectively ending my Ultimate playing days. Let’s hope Chelsea FC’s Mr.’s Barry, Lampard and Cahill will heal better than I did and grace their pitch once again next season. I cooked that first Gender Blender for 125 on crutches. Here is my team from 1997.

Zoydz at Gender Blender 1997

In 2004 Karen Hood, Dilhan Kuru and Giles Deshon took the reigns and we grew the event to 600. In 2008 a man named Blue took the helm with his company, The Ultimate Experience. Two years ago we catered to 800 players. This year the number was 600 because many teams did not return after the rain deluge of 2011. In 2013 we could be cooking for 1000. Blue will soon announce that the 19th Gender Blender will be the last. Great teams from the past will come out of the woodwork to participate. It will be a special weekend.

Gender Blender 2012

This year’s dinner menu:

Warm Barque Smokehouse Brisket and Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Cole Slaw, two ways
Stuffed, Roasted Peppers, brown rice, chick peas, feta, carrot, oven-dried tomato, greek oregano
Due Penne, italian sausage, chicken/brisket bbq demi-glacé and tomato, caramelized onion
Hearts of Romaine Salad, green beans, broccoli, carrot, cucumber, balsamic vinaigrette
Green and Red Lentil Salad, tofu, corn, peppers, italian parsley

Not unlike that other great Canadian outdoor sports gathering, the Taylor Cup Pond Hockey Championship, Gender Blender is a beer fest. So, what does a caterer pop open after 14 hours at the stoves? Rosé of course!

Delas Frères Saint Esprit Côtes Du Rhône Rosé 2011 (224964, $12.95) shows consistent with last week’s note. “Offers up strawberry, rhubarb and cream with a savoury accent. Subtle pale, pink, see-through hue and warming humidity. Great value here. Rosie you’re all right. “Looks like it’s me and you again tonight.”  88


Good to go!

6 comments on “Ultimate cooking for 800 is no E3 Expo or Chelsea Bun party

  1. Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was looking for!

  2. Ddawg says:

    GB attendee. Great grub this year! The brisket was just what the Dr. ordered!

    Thanks for the 19th GB scoop!

  3. vinpocetine says:

    salutations from over the ocean. excellent post I must return for more.

  4. Look At This says:

    Cheers, I just stopped by to visit your website and thought I’d say thank you.

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