Gallery: Snapshots From the First Semi-Annual Serious Eats Foodlympics

The Saltine Challenge
The Saltine Challenge

First up: the Saltine challenge, a seemingly simple exercise. The goal is to eat six whole Saltines, without taking a sip of water or any other beverage, in the span of one minute. Sound easy? Consider this: Payton Manning trained long and hard before mastering this particular feat of athletic prowess. Ben, Jim, Paul, and Ed bravely volunteered for the challenge.

Ed goes down
Ed goes down
Ed fizzled out early, complaining of dry-mouth and spewing half-chewed Saltines all over the floor.
Ben's technique
Ben's technique
Ben, however, barreled through, using a strategy of stacking and eating all six Saltines at once. The other contenders opted for the one-cracker-at-a-time-route, which, as it turns out...
Ben champions all!
Ben champions all!
...was not a good technique, because only Ben emerged victorious! (For what it's worth, the Saltine sandwich method is also what brought Peyton Manning to victory).
Preparing the curling sheet
Preparing the curling sheet
In traditional curling, players throw granite stones down an ice curling sheet marked with houses, or circular "goals." In curling with Crumbnuts, we thew Cronut knockoffs down a sheet of Pam-greased wax paper. It's totally the same!
Curling Sheet
Curling Sheet
The greased sheet, ready for action.
Curl!
Curl!
Intern Rabi started the match off, sliding the Crumbnut about halfway down the sheet. Unfortunately, the square shape and uneven weight distribution of the pastry is not the most conducive to smooth sliding, and the Crumbnut didn't make it very far.
Curl more
Curl more
Ed, a previous medalist for his performance in the grape-stuffing challenge [more on that in a minute], gave the sport his all, but he, too, was frustrated by the non-aerodynamic design of the Crumbnut, which seemed designed explicitly to *not* slide down the sheet.
Grease it up
Grease it up
The solution? More Pam! Directly on the Crumbnut this time.
The playing field
The playing field
It worked! Kind of. No Crumbnut stones actually made it into the house, but still. Good game.
Grape stuffage
Grape stuffage
Next up: grape cheek stuffage, which involves cramming as many grapes into your mouth as possible, without swallowing. True champions are masters of the chipmunk cheek.
Cramming
Cramming
Perhaps unsurprisingly, physical handicaps play into performance for this event--Ed, who, it must be said, boasts a rather large mouth, ultimately won with upwards of 20 grapes, while the petite-jawed Niki was a distant second.
Oreo Stacking
Oreo Stacking
Next up: Oreo stacking, which involves gently scraping the filling from several Oreos and piling them between two cookies to make the tallest sandwich possible. (Like so.)
Stack stack stack
Stack stack stack
Ed, Niki, and Max got to work with butter knives. Ed's cookies kept snapping beneath his powerful fingers, while Max worked methodically, feeling each individual cookie out with a delicate touch.
Cookie graveyard
Cookie graveyard
As the filling piled up, so too did the stack of cookie carcasses.
Judge Jamie
Judge Jamie
Referee Jamie measured the final stacks with a tape measurer for total accuracy. In the end, it was Niki by a millimeter, or about the height of one Oreo filling.
Mini medal ceremony
Mini medal ceremony
Jamie bestows the Oreo-stacking medal upon Niki.
Salting Accuracy
Salting Accuracy
Now, a true test of culinary prowess: accurately salting a plate from a stepladder-induced height. The goal is get as much of a pinch of salt as possible within the plate-sized target.
Jamie gets salty
Jamie gets salty
Jamie steps up to the plate, literally, grabbing a pinch and extending her arm no lower than five feet off the ground.
The salted plate
The salted plate
The score: 8.5! Pretty respectable, although referee Paul may not have had the strictest judging parameters.
Ed steps up
Ed steps up
Such concentration!
Dorito Finger Football
Dorito Finger Football
If you've ever played "football" with your fingers as goalposts and a paper triangle as the ball, then you get the basic concept of this event.
The competition
The competition
Team Cool Ranch (Lily) faces off against Team Nacho Cheese (Jamie) in a heated battle.
Gooooooaaaallllllll
Gooooooaaaallllllll
And the Dorito goes flying! That little blur or orange was Lily's winning field goal.
Spoon balance
Spoon balance
The final event of the day was an oldie but a goodie: who can balance a spoon on their nose for the longest amount of time?
Niki's nose
Niki's nose
We quickly realized that metal spoons were a no-go, instead switching to plastic. Niki, whose nose is actually tiny, was the undisputed champ here.
That's all!
That's all!
Now she's just showing off, but either way, a refreshing beer is the perfect way to close out a rousing celebration of Foodlympics.