Once again, I have exciting news regarding Culinary Fight Club. We got to witness the first Black Box Challenge. We’re talking a mystery box instead of a pantry for the Pros. This means only the top executive chefs can compete. At the usual Culinary Fight Club, all competitors are welcome to compete. They just want someone that can cook, but for this challenge they wanted to raise the stakes.
We had 3 chefs compete with 45 minutes to create something amazing from the mystery box. I got to peek inside and I have to say no one would disappointed with the contents. Amazing mushrooms from the Mushroom Council, Mustard Girl mustards, eggs, bacon, heavy cream, lemons, oranges, root vegetables, garlic, fresh herbs and various spices. Those mystery boxes were packed with fresh ingredients. Of course, the chefs can bring 3 secret ingredients which are checked in by the Cheferee Anthony Martorina.
The anticipation of the mystery boxes was slightly undercut by the arrival of Chef Paul Young. Upon seeing he was an MC the chefs began to pester him with questions regarding bacon. He is the corporate chef for Reinhart Food Services and these chefs have been spoiled with choice cuts of bacon and pork belly just to name a few proteins. Soon enough, the Cheferee nearly had to make up a new penalty to get them to stop asking about bacon.
Upon unearthing the various goodies, Chef Paul Caravelli saw the bread and bacon. Before he began to cook his dish, he made himself and the audience a bacon sandwich. The crowd was shocked and delighted. They truly had a culinary adventure at the Travel & Adventure Show in Rosemont. People began to stop by the stage because the aroma of what the chefs were cooking lured them from across the show floor.
To the surprise of our Cheferee and judges, all of the chefs made a version of pasta. From Chef Tim Davidson’s mandu to Chef Paul Caravelli’s tortelloni to Chef Jessica Bograd and Chef Kasey McDonald’s deconstructed lasagna. The unexpected theme made judging more difficult. The winners Chef Bograd and Chef McDonald explained that they had wanted to create a full lasagna but ended up crafting the dish differently due to time constraints. Possibly, the added secret ingredient threw all of the chefs a curve ball. Everyone had to include Culinary Fight Club’s Thai Srira Srira Hot Sauce.
The end result was a restless crowd. Those that had received samples versus those that had not. At an event like the Travel & Adventure show, there is no way of knowing how big the crowd will be. The good news is that you are guaranteed a sample of every dish at tonight’s Culinary Fight Club. The theme is Savory Chocolate. 4 Chefs will battle it out, with one team sporting two phenomenal chefs. You can still buy tickets at the door for $50 tonight. The event is from 6-9PM at Lucky Strike FTW. We’ll be there, will you?