We came to win. We were prepared for the challenges they laid before us. Blind wines…bring it. Guess the spices…we came to play. Decorate the cookie…we’ll take down the pastry chefs. This was our mantra. Dirty or fair, we had one goal and that was to win the 2nd Annual Duckathlon sponsored by D’Artagnan.

Clearly there was a miscount, because team Mother Ducker didn’t win, although we did steal the duck bacon prize from team Alain Ducasse (oh victory, deserved or not, tastes so good). Perhaps this was a day of foodie self-indulgence, or perhaps we were just pawns in the foie gras conspiracy, but any way you slice it, the 2nd annual Duckathlon was a day of food and wine debauchery.

The day started with a misty haze and the smells of fresh baked bread permeating from the Chelsea Market. We all met at Frank’s, got our assignments and were off. There was good competition among us. Some of the teams we were competing against were Daniel, Craft, Jacques Pepin, the Four Seasons, BLT Steak and Fish, Nice Dumplings (Rickshaw), Number 9 Park and Alain Ducasse. Seeing all the chefs and sommeliers in their best whites didn’t scare us – well, actually the feathers sticking out of the chefs coats from Team Number 9 Park, freaked us out a little bit.


Some of the events of the day were an blind wine tasting at Paradou, where we had to identify the wine from Chablis (we won), a waiters raise carrying six cute little single serve bottles of Nicolas Feuillante Champagne around an obstacle course and bra and t-shirt contest at Hogs and Heifers (we got bonus points for creativity). One of our most memorable moments of the day was seeing Jacques Torres jump into a little kiddie pool, to clinch the victory for the rubber duck water race. Nobody showed more dedication than him – and even though he only won by half a second, the victory dance lasted for at least 5 minutes.

All and all the D’Artagnan Duckathlon was a day to experience some of the great culinary spots in the Meat Packing District (some of the event locations listed below), make new friends, indulge in an inordinate amount of duck products and drink…drink a lot. We can’t say that we are not disappointed that we didn’t win, but Team Mother Ducker is not one to accept defeat. We will come back next year stronger, with the focus and determination of a jungle cat. Yeah, with cool t-shirts and cheerleaders. Tryouts for Team Mother Ducker will be held this fall. If you can identify mustard seeds from poppy and are pretty good at balancing baguettes and identifying different types of honey, then you are just who we are looking for. Help Gothamist take the Duckathlon next year. All serious competitors send your foodie resume to us. Food and wine bribes are happily accepted.

Full list of stops along the route after the jump.

Stops Included:
Amy’s Bread
Bowery Kitchen Supplies
Buon Italia
Chelsea Market Basket
Chelsea Wholesale Flowers
Chelsea Wine Vault
Debragga & Spitler
Frank’s Butcher
Frank’s Restaurant
Hogs & Heifers