The Winner of CHOW’s Toxic Food Words Contest!

Last month we ranted about the most overused words and phrases in food writing, and you rose to the challenge! We challenged you guys to wade into our choice for the 40 most toxic food words, and dredge up at least 10 of them in a stomach-turning review of no more than 250 words. Eight of you delivered, posting the radioactive results on CHOW.com’s Facebook wall.

Laura Malcolm delivered a review of an eggs Benedict recipe that made us go, "Eww." Jeff Chin rolled up an insider’s gastrobabble description of a real New York sushi place, Neta. Sherry Smith Hartwig packed 19 of the 40 words into 5 sentences (a bravura performance, even though it made us gag). Renate Raudaschl got all scholarly about changing foodways, while Sherry Miles Ricci filed an exclamation-point ode to the sammy (nice work). And, as Carlee Pecen stirred up a post-Thanksgiving cocktail in Brooklyn, Richard Denby got sort of literal about the notion of food porn, finding a new way to make us squirm.

But the winner? Alex Green, for his Woodstock fantasy of the stoner munchies menu at Chicago’s Next. Well done, sir!

And to thank all of you who played along, we’ll be sending you a highly coveted CHOW T-shirt (we'll get in touch soon via Facebook). But here, for your April Fools' Day enjoyment, we present Alex Green’s winning entry (toxic words in bold):

“Chefs Grant Achatz and David Beran, of famed Chicago eatery Next, are beginning to divulge their next menu: Woodstock. It pays homage to the old-school stoner lifestyle of 1969. One particular dish they decided to whip up was creamy peanut butter and pickled jalapeno on a saltine cracker. What a perfect storm! Who would have thought that the no fuss recipe of opening a jar of peanut butter, a can of jalapenos and a sleeve of crackers would be such a crowd-pleaser? The sweet, heat, and spice is a party in your mouth that just works. The combo is sure to be an instant classic and is the perfect bite to nosh on. Their menu is sure to be a game-changer for all of the stoner foodies out there. They’re really going to have to up the ante to compete with the sinfully delicious combinations that Achatz and Beran come up with.”

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