Monday, June 23, 2014

Black Box Chef Competition

On the left with the Mic- Jen of Foodie Prints
 Sometimes it's all about being at the right place at the right time. This Sunday, around 11:30 a.m. I found myself at the Ottawa Farmer's Market, at Brewer Park. Emily had sent me the event invitation previously, but somehow it hadn't clicked that it was a cook-off! I was there just to stroll in nice weather and scope out the delicious local food- sampling as much as possible and trying not to buy everything in sight.

Well this week, Foodie Prints was hosting its annual Black box chef competition. The defending champion was Chef David Godsoe of Indulge Kitchen and Cocktail, who took on this year’s challenger, Chef Stephen LaSalle of The Albion Rooms.

As I keep mentioning, I love Master Chef. So it was a lot of fun to watch these Ottawa chef's making their dishes. At 1 minute left, I thought there was no way they would finish plating their dishes, but somehow they managed and made their dishes look beautiful. 

One of the dishes
This competition was a bit different than the ones in the show, as the competitors had to use all the ingredients in their black boxes. The boxes included:
- Nasturtiums from Linda’s Garden (Linda Bergeron)
- Strawberries from Avonmore Berry Farm
- Chocolate from Hummingbird Chocolate Maker (Erica & Drew Gilmour)
- Tri-Tip Beef from O’Brien Farms
- Beets (red, golden, chioga) and Garlic Scapes from Acorn Creek Garden Farm
- Kale from Just Farms (Marc and Joanne Just )
- Gamay/Pinot Blend from Chadsey’s Cairns Winery and Vineyard
- Bison Smoke from The Salty Don (Don Henderson)
 Each chef was allowed one extra ingredient: Godsoe chose basil (great choice) and LaSalle chose radishes (hmm.. I was skeptical).

My vote went to Chef LaSalle, who apparently won by just 1 vote. His dish was delicious and easy to eat, as it was a crispy and well seasoned piece of kale, that you rolled up around beef and ate as a lettuce wrap. The strawberry and chocolate sauces were great and went surprisingly well with the beef. Chef Godsoe's dish was also very good- it was kale ( less crispy) and beef and beets. At any rate both chef's were good, and I will be checking out their restaurants at some point this summer hopefully!

It was so much fun!

Have you been to either of these restaurants?  Have you attended a cooking competition?

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