A Keller resident who's entered an online essay contest sponsored by Anthony Bourdain is hoping he understands good writing as well as he gets good cooking.
Otto Borisch has collected more than 1,000 votes for his essay on "What does it mean to cook well?," making his entry the 16th most popular of 1,500 submissions. According to contest rules, Bourdain will consider online vote tallies when selecting which 500-word essay to include in the paperback edition of his book Medium Raw.
The winner will also receive a copy of the book and $10,000, a prize Bourdain ponied up after Eater.com pointed out "crowd-sourcing print media" was exploitative -- and, no doubt, threatening to professional writers who have the gall to expect compensation for their work.
Borisch wrote his essay about his mother's candy cane cookies, which he once made while working at the CIA. A student tasted the cookies and told him, tearfully, "These cookies taste just like my grandmother's."
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"To transport souls to another place, to another time, to jolt a dormant memory, to provide people with warmth and sustenance, that, is cooking food well," Borisch concludes.
The current leading essay revolves around a white woman cooking tamales in Mexico, but Borisch is confident he can crack the top 10. He's aggressively courting votes for his submission.
"Everything is bigger in Texas and I need every vote I can get," he e-mails.
Votes and essays will be accepted through the end of today.