Monday, November 16, 2015

Chef Challenge! Chile Food & Cocktail Battle

Cafe du Parc Chefs in Action
By Claire Goldman

The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington put on the second annual Chef & Mixologist Challenge.  Local chefs and mixologists were challenged to create dishes and drinks supporting the Foods from Chile:  Source of Life Campaign.

Mixologists from Hank's Oyster Bar, Lupo Verde and Bar Pilar faced off in a Pisco fueled challenge.  Bar Pilar went the cozy route and won the hearts of the voters with their Pisco and hot spiced cider concoction topped with whipped cream and a homemade apple chip.
Bar Pilar's Spiced Apple Cider Pisco Cocktail with Whipped Cream and Homemade Apple Chip
Fan Pick for Best Cocktail

The judge's picked the Pisco cocktail by Hank's Oyster Bar on the Hill which had a refreshing taste, bright orange hue and cheerful sprig of rosemary.
Judge's Choice Cocktail from Hank's Oyster Bar with Pisco and Rosemary

Delicious Wine from Chile chosen by Sommelier Theo Rutherford of Mindful Restaurant Group
Chile is the number on world exporter of fresh blueberries, grapes, cherries, prunes, dehydrated apples and frozen whole salmon and mussels.  Therefore, the chefs had a great list of ingredients to choose from when planning their competition menus.  My top choice (also the top choice for the rest of the fans) was from Chef  Serge Devesa of Cafe du Parc located in the Willard Intercontinental Hotel.  Chef Devesa served a pan seared Chilean salmon with almonds, merquen, ulmo honey, extra virgin olive oil, cranberries, smoked salmon mouse and a teriyaki glaze.  My second favorite dish was from Tico's Chef George Rodrigues, a chorizo crostini using Chilean pork belly, ulmo honey and merquen (a smoked chili pepper).  The judges favorite was the Velrasso Salmon Ceviche from Chef Victor Albisu of Del Campo.

Del Campo's Salmon Ceviche on the left vs. Cafe du Parc's Seared Salmon on the right
Chef Domenico Appollaro of Lupo Verde: Sumonte with porchetta, prunes, honey, bufala mouse and pistachios

Tico's Pork Belly Crostini
When Chefs compete, diners win.  All the chefs and mixologists did a great job and the flavors of Chile were also the starts of the night.

For more information on the Foods from Chile:  Source of Life Campaign visit:
To learn more about RAMW go to: Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington

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