There is something genius about delicious food and intense competition. That's what set the culinary stage last Sunday night in Mount Dora.
As over a hundred foodies looked on as two local chefs went head to head during the first "After Hours Supper Club" at Pisces Rising. The Chef vs. Chef Battle pitted the head chef of Tavares' Tiki West, Ben Yancey against Christopher Robb Murray, owner and executive chef of Creative Culinary Solutions in Winter Park.
Each chef was required to make at least two dishes using three secret ingredients; a whole pig, black drum fish, and oyster mushrooms. Onlookers filled the restaurant watched the competitors on large screen monitors meet the difficult culinary challenges. Ellis later gave them sugar cane and raw oysters as bonus items that would add to their score if incorporated into their dishes.
After 90 minutes, the chefs presented their creations to the three judges. The dishes were rated on a 1-10 scale in three categories, including, taste, use of secret ingredients, and presentation.
In the end, Yancey prevailed. His four dishes included: Quick pan seared, oven braised pork belly taco with avocado and jicama slaw and Cajun Honey Mustard; a second dish of roasted jalapeño and blueberry stout-battered black drum fish and chips with crispy fingerling potatoes. Dish three was a pan seared black drum with blueberry wine and port, beet cream sauce, roasted fingerling potatoes, grilled oyster mushroom and truffle oil drizzle. The fourth dish was a Drunkin' Knob Creek grilled oyster with bacon salt and parmesan
The organizer and host of the competition, local chef Graham Ellis, wanted to bring the energy and excitement of network TV cooking shows to Mount Dora while creating a hospitality night where restaurant employees could network, promote local farms, wineries, and chefs.
The next Chef vs. Chef is planned for January.
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