Pork Tenderloin, anyone? WBEZ's Chicago Chef Battle pleases the palate

September 28, 2010

Thursday, September 23, we launched our Off-Air Live Event Series with the Second Annual Chicago Chef Battle to a capacity crowd of over 500 people.‚  The weather held out (although it was an uncharacteristic 91 degrees and humid like nobody's business) and chefs involved did not disappoint! From the Boiler Room, Chef Cody V. Butler prepared (using Pere Jacques beer as a main ingredient) a Beer Braised Beef and Barley Stew. From The Centered Chef, Chef Ryan Hutmacher made us Matilda's Drunken Chicken Dance (slow cooked chicken in Goose Island Matilda Beer, Sumac spiced onions, spicy sesame sauce on a pita). From Browntrout, Chef Sean Sanders put together a Sofie Beer Pretzel that sandwiched slow roasted bacon, heirloom tomato and frisee. Chef Barry Sorkin (from SMOQUE BBQ) served a Beer Braised Carnitas Taco with a smoked pineapple salsa. Earlier the week before, Chef David Carrier was let go from the Executive Chef position at Kith & Kin, but decided to compete regardless and with the help of Goose Island's Chelsea Hoffman, secured a kitchen, a staff of friends and cooked up Fleur Brined Pork Tenderloin with Sous Vide Apples and Parmigiano Reggiano. The chefs arrived at around 4:00PM and began set up and prepping for 500 diners.‚  By 6:15PM, the line began and went down the block for a full hour as patrons were checked in, given their special Off-Air credentials and checked for ID.‚  At 7:00PM, the food began to move and the reactions were overwhelming.‚  Each dish had its cheerleaders and people kept coming back for more until, at around 8:20PM, there wasn't a bite left. Radio M's Tony Sarabia played tunes for the crowd; Goose Island beer flowed like...well, beer.‚  Chicago Reader Food and Beverage writer Mike Sula sauntered around, undercover, and sampled each dish. At the end of the evening, after all the voting was done, and by a pretty slim margin, the winning chef was named by Sula: Chef David Carrier.‚  All the chefs received 'thank you' messenger bags with some WBEZ/Reader/Goose Island swag but Carrier walked away with a Tivoli SongBook AM/FM Radio, and autographed copy of Rick Bayless's latest cookbook Fiesta at Rick's, a private tour and tasting from Goose Island Brewery, and the exclusive (and hard to get) Reader "hoodie." Things wrapped up at around 9:30PM and the evening was a huge success!‚  Thanks to all the participating chefs, Chelsea and Nick from Goose Island, our fantastic public radio volunteer staff, Christina Fox (the evening's director), and all of you! NEXT MONTH: Mutants, Androids, and Cyborgs: The Science of Pop Culture Films Wednesday, October 20, 2010 @ 7:00 p.m., doors at 6:00 p.m.
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