The Crystal Springs New Jersey Wine & Food Festival recently wrapped up and the results of the sold-out Battle of the NJ Sous Chefs are in. The competition was designed to showcase the contributions of some of the best, most dedicated sous chefs who cook long hours on the line.
The judging panel for the event included Guest of Honor Chef David Bouley, New Jersey Monthly Senior Editor Eric Levin and James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro. The six sous chefs who participated each created a dish that was paired with a wine from Decoy Wines. The panel of judges chose the best pairing and the audience selected the best overall dish.
And the winners were:
Best Pairing: Ricardo Franco of Chakra Restaurant for his cacao-crusted, 40-hour short rib of beef with parsnip purée and truffled celery salad
The Audience Favorite: Tim Monday of Giovanni’s Bistro for his confit duck with smoked chunky almond butter, sour cherry purée, celery and micro arugula salad, and champagne vinaigrette.
The sous chef contestants were:
Ricardo Franco (Chakra)
Kenny West (Pig & Prince)
Tim Monday (Giovanni’s Bistro)
Juan Pablo Guarda (Morris Tap & Grill)
Dean Orr (Drew’s Bayshore Bistro)
Max Mraz (Crystal Springs)
To keep up with plans for the 2015 event, sign up to receive Crystal Springs’ newsletters at http://www.njwinefoodfest.com. If you limit the number of upscale food and wine events you attend during the year, this one is not to be missed.
Veronique Deblois, Food & Wine Chickie: Veronique is a food and wine writer based in Morris County. As the author of the popular blog, Food & Wine Chickie Insider, Veronique shares recipes, wine and restaurant reviews and insight into the travel industry of which she’s a 15-year veteran. Follow Veronique on Twitter or like her Facebook page.