If you are unfamiliar with Culinary Fight Club, then you are in for a treat. Not just for your tastebuds but your entire food experience is about to change. There are a few rules in this fight club but luckily we can talk about it. Even better we got some information from the Cheferee himself, Anthony Martorina. He’s not just our local Cheferee but also a Partner in what is becoming one of Chicago’s best foodie experiences, Culinary Fight Club which provides for Fight2Feed. The founder, Jiwon McCartney is from Chicago and this is the birthplace of the unique foodie charity phenomenon that is Culinary Fight Club.
If you are a fan of cooking competitions, then CulinaryFight Club is something you have to experience for yourself. Four Chefs compete live in one place on a theme from tacos to burgers to bacon. The best part is you get to taste everything and vote for your favorites. This month is the greatest exception. You will be able to witness not just one but two rounds. Fourteen Chefs compete with their best bites and only four will move onto the second round where they can win. There can only be one winner who will be crowned Culinary Fight Club Chef of Chicago.
Since we live in Chicago I had to ask about dirty plays. We can’t claim ignorance to a city that was home to Al Capone. However, Anthony reassured me that while there were dirty plays to be made “the Cheferee is always watching and he has undercover eyes on the Chefs at all times.” You too can watch for foul play. There are only 15 raw ingredients and 3 surprise ingredients allowed. That time limit is also essential to competitive cooking. Many a Chef has lost an ingredient during the pantry raid.
“There’s no cheating in Culinary Fight Club but that doesn’t stop Chefs from trying to sneak in unapproved ingredients. Chefs be warned we will catch you when an ingredient miraculously ends up in your dish. You’re looking at a disqualification at the judges table in front of the audience. You never want to be called out in front of your fellow Chefs.”
I couldn’t agree more. You can’t live down being labelled a cheater. After all our judges are talented Chefs in their own right. Don’t think they would miss an extra ingredient that wasn’t included.
Not only the Judges but all of the Chefs are familiar faces for Culinary Fight Fest. Our Chefree boasts: “This is the best of the best for Culinary Fight Club Chicago. Everyone of these chefs have competed in Culinary Fight Club over the last three years, some have lost and some have won but they all want to be crowned the best.” Expect crowd pleasers on hand even though you can’t forget that crowd pleasing is just another skill.
Influencing is not to be frowned upon, because Chefs that can crack jokes and please your tastebuds are the essence of what makes a great Culinary Fight Club. The Cheferee had to remind that presentation is just one aspect of competition, “I wouldn’t take points off for a chef who brings excitement to the audience and on the plate. I’m not going to call out any of the show boat chefs but you will see them. Two come to mind and I can’t wait to see what they are going to bring. Who knows it may be a big circus act but if the food matches the entertainment then you have to give your vote to them. We all love culinary food sport and this show adds to the excitement.”
So, I was dying to know what our Cheferee would serve if he were in this fight. “I would love to compete but someone has to be the bad guy and that’s me. My dish would be my sweet & spicy bacon. I make my own secret rub mixture which is simply magical. I’ve actually had several other chefs steal it and they have won competitions with it. So I am proud to be influential to other people who want to recreate my food.” That is just one of the reasons we support the cause. Anyone who is making their own rubs is someone who loves food. We do our own rubs here at Rosie Discovers and they are secrets we haven’t shared yet.
Which brings into question the flavors, I was wondering if there really was a key flavor that could win over our Chicago crowd. To which the answer is no, however “We live in an international city and our audience loves food. I don’t think the crowd is going to just vote for a Chicago dog but what if you make the Asian version of a Chicago Dog. That turns heads and if the dish is amazing then they are going to get votes. I would advise the Chefs serve the best bite ever to make it into the second round because only 4 chefs can advance.”
Of course our Cheferee says there is no reason to be jealous. He is our local Chicago Cheferee but “this Cheferee has traveled to our other cities including San Diego, Atlanta, Indianapolis & Kansas City. You can’t keep the Cheferee down because where there’s a culinary competition he’s there to keep it fair.” Even though I can’t completely back him up on that one because the Cheferee is an important part to the Culinary Fight Club experience. The Cheferee sets the tone and amps up the crowd and Chefs. I’m just saying I don’t want to trade Cheferees any time soon.
Of course, that is just a small insight into the awesomeness of Culinary Fight Club. This time the battle will be even more glorious as all our chefs compete to represent our city, Chicago. Culinary Fight Fest is a 4 hour event with enough time to pack in two rounds of battles. The second round is a secret until moments before the challenge begins. A real test to see what our chefs are can do with 15 raw and 3 surprise ingredients all using one 10K BTU burner to cook their tastiest dish. I expect this event to be a real thrill as we see seasoned competitors battling it out for the bragging rights and that Golden Ticket.
You can help us judge this #TasteBudChallenge by purchasing tickets here. Culinary Fight Fest takes place August 21st from 11AM t0 3PM at Joe’s on Weed Street. We will be there voting for our favorite bites as well. Be warned while the chefs are battling it out, we will be battling it out with you for the best photos and social shares.
That just leaves us with the most important information. If any of our tasters want to help with Fight2Feed, then they have a few options.
We always welcome volunteers to help us cook and serve meals. Please check our website www.fight2feed.org to sign up for our monthly mission.
We also accept food donations from restaurants because we never want food waste. We love our partners when it comes to feeding hungry people in Chicago because every little bit helps.
A big thank you to our Cheferee Anthony Martorina just one member of the Culinary Fight Club team. I can’t forget to mention the sponsors that are continuing to make Culinary Fight Club possible they include Reinhart Foodservice the 2016-17 Foodservice Partner, Sam Adams the 2016 Beer Sponsor, and BULL Outdoor Products the exclusive Grill Sponsor.