Dispatch from Cannes

Your daily dose of Canuck judge Matt Shirtcliffe's Cannes shenanigans.

Matt Shirtcliffe, EVP/ ECD at Proximity Canada, is chronicling his Cannes judging experience in a blog, MattinCannes.com. Stimulant received Matt’s blessing to excerpt our favourite bits, so check back daily to keep up.

Day four and I’m sad to report that the camaraderie we enjoyed as judges has given way to heated debate across the table. The issue? Placement in a category. Around 12 of us had headed to a local seafood restaurant in an effort to avoid the prices charged on the main promenade. Next to me sat the charming Englishman Ed Jones – now working in Dubai –  who ordered a plate of fresh mussels. Meantime I opted for the oysters. Eventually Ed’s order arrived together with an empty bowl, into which he politely placed the used shells. Seeing as there was no equivalent bowl for me, I assumed both mussel shells and oyster shells were to be placed in the one integrated mollusc category. So place them there I did, without first clarifying the rules with my fellow judges.

An outburst erupted. England demanded I remove all oyster entries from the category because they simply didn’t qualify. I stood my ground and argued the category was there for integrated shells and it was well within the Cannes rules of etiquette. Denmark, represented by Jens, questioned the decision. I looked for support from Canada and no doubt would have got it, but at the vital moment Shirley was at the other end of the table judging a whole different category. And New Zealand declared its true colours when Mike backed Dubai every step of the way. I had no option but to withdraw and apologize. I tried to regain credibility by offering Ed the option of entering his spoon in my sorbet category, but the fact I had also placed my leftovers in Jens’s Integrated Mixed Grill while he was up having a smoke has only added to the scandal.



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