It is almost time for the quest to find Brisbane's Best Parma to commence. It would be fair to say that I have been overjoyed by the amount of discussion that this quest has created both with my family, friends and colleagues. That discussion has oft focused on two things: how I am going to decide which of the 50 parmas I am going to taste is the best AND the venues that I am going to attend in this quest.
The ideas and advice that I have received have been variously excellent and bizarre. I will repeat though something that I have said all along: this is my quest so the decision is ultimately mine. So these are my rules and they will not be varied.
- I will not be scoring each parma: placing a numerical value on the dishes I will eat will create inconsistency because my method of scoring is, inevitably, going to be more refined as I go through the year. Rather I am going to institute a “Parma Ladder” that will be akin to the “Cool Wall” that used to be on “Top Gear”: each Parma will be placed on the ladder in accordance with what I have written in my review. The winner of Brisbane's Best Parma will be the parma that ends the year at the top of comparison Ladder.
- A Chicken Parma, as a meal, does not just include the actual chicken breast. Thus I will be considering, as part of my assessment of the Parma, the side dishes (most often chips and garden salad) that come with the Parma. Bad side dishes could have the effect of seeing a good parma topple down to the bottom of the ladder.
- Things like the quality of service, the fitout of the restuarant and the price of the parma will NOT be considered as a negative or a positive when it comes to judging the parmas. I will be talking about these aspects in each review I will be writing but ultimately if the parma is good or bad then these factors are irrelevant in my view.
- The venues for the 50 parmas I am going to eat MUST be within the geographical boundaries of Brisbane. Thus each venue must, effectively, receive a Brisbane City Council rates notice (viz., be in a ward of the BCC) to qualify. Some great parmas are going to miss out but this is Brisbane's Best Parma not the Best Parma of South East Queensland.
- No variations to the standard make up of the chicken portion of the meal will be acceptable. If the parma has, for example, bechamel sauce on it IT IS NOT A PARMA and thus will not be considered. For those wondering: for me a parma consists of a crumbed chicken breast, a tomato based sauce, ham and cheese.
- There is no restriction on style of venues: some have suggested to me that I should just limit myself to pubs in this quest. I decline to do so and will include RSLs, Bowls Clubs and the like as well. If there is a parma worth eating at such a venue I will eat it.
- No correspondence will be entered into as to the decisions made regarding the parmas reviewed.
Bring on January 1, 2015: the quest begins then!