Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fill the Grill Championship Cookoff

I rushed to Whole Foods Market after work to witness the Championship Cook off. Steve Saelg, the master chef from The Crooked Spoon Food Truck, was up against Alec Cheak, the master chef from Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. The chefs were each given $20 to spend then 20 minutes to shop and 20 minutes to prepare a delicious grilled summer meal. The stakes were high, a bronze chef's trophy sat on the counter top waiting to be claimed. The announcer followed the chefs around the store. At the checkout counter, chef Steve realized he had gone a little over budget. He had to surrender his arugula. Then he hit the $20 mark right on the nose. Chef Alec was also over budget by ¢94. He was going to surrender his nuts, but instead returned a peach.

The chefs then raced to prepare their meals. Sharp knives sliced and diced. Steve was making a deconstructed Italian sausage. He cut up a red pepper. A bagette was toasted as he prepared a tomato sauce with pepper romano and rosemary. Chef Alec was grilling pork chops. He combined fresh lemon juice and olive oil to create a Spring mix. Apples and peaches were grilled. He whisked a balsamic reduction. Roasted red peppers were mixed in with an apricot coulis. Brie cheese was served as a side.

The judges were, Patricia Letakis of Florida Travel and Life, Kendra Lott of Edible Orlando and Bernie Tostanowski the Whole Foods prepared Foods Team Leader. Steve's Italian Sausage was served first. He instructed the judges to assemble the ingredients into a sandwich. Patricia stacked a Dagwood sized sandwich and chomped in. Bernie held back preferring to use his fork. Chef Alec's pork chops were savored by the judges. The brie cheese was a bold choice but it was complimented by the grilled fruit.

Chef Steve's waited with his wife and daughter for the verdict. I figured he might get bonus points for being a family man. In the end, Chef Alec Cheak was declared the winner. The Fill the Grill trophy has a new home at Fleming's Steak House. I desperately wanted a pork chop, instead I went home to leftovers.

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1 comment:

Balaji Venugopal said...

Very topical for your readers in India. Many of us are avidly following the second season of Masterchef Australia on prime time tv.