Thursday, November 12, 2009

March of Dimes Chef Auction

On Sunday night I had the chance to judge the March of Dimes Chef's Auction at the Westin. Along with Tess Bosher, fellow Style Food critic, Ellie Basch, owner of Savor Cafe in Manchester, and Henry Reidy of Strawberry Street Vineyard, we were wrangled by Judge Coordinator Tanya Cauthen of Belmont Butchery. After some deliberation over 8 entries, we scored each submission on Presentation, Taste, and Creativity.

The winning dish, from Chef Michael Hall at the Bull and the Bear Club, was a clever entry. What at first glance looked like baby lambchops were in reality portobella mushrooms wrapped in bacon with chop bones. what I thought were mushrooms were actually chunks of lamb. Polenta was carved to look like bone marrow- and the whole thing was served on a spun candy plate. Beautiful and clever and tasty too.

Second place went to Phil Denny from Six Burner for a Trotter & Foie Gras croquette- ground pigs feet and foie gras bound together in a crispy panko encrusted ball of heaven, accented with a spicy harissa-like sauce.

Photographs by Lorenzo

1 comment:

Rusty S. said...

Denny's dish looks so much better, actually edible. I have to laugh when I see chefs creating dishes like Hall's. Why put inedible garnishes on the plate? It looks as though he's interested in new techniques(molecular gastronomy, et al), but doesn't want to actually learn how to manipulate food in an interesting way. So he fills his plate with gimmicks. Screw gimmicks, give me food. He is a hack. If someone put that in front of me, after laughing at it with my wife for a while; I would send it back, laugh some more, finish my wine and never return. It really is sad that whoever runs these food contests in Richmond is obviously enamored with anything Hall and Jay Frank create. Has beens.