It’s time for another episode of Ultimate Chef Bergen County!
On January 10, 2009, Chef Christine Nunn of Picnic Caterers returned to Chef Central’s demo kitchen in Paramus with the hope of victory — after being narrowly defeated by Chef Ken Trickilo in last year’s blood orange battle.
Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
The crowd awaits the start of the competition.
The judges — Richard Kimble of the Waldorf Astoria/Sodexo, Bill Pitcher of the Bergen Record, and Tom Griffiths of the Culinary Institute of America.
Chef Christine and Chef Michelle discuss lemongrass prep strategy.
Working on a raspberry reduction for the dessert course.
Christine boils up a lemongrass tea for use in her sauces.
A nice specimen of lemongrass, from South City’s station.
South City Grill’s Chef Spinazzola works his station.
Spinazzola tries to extract some lemongrass flavor with clarified butter.
Chef Christine looking serious.
The judges discuss their observations of both teams.
Chef Michelle having some fun with pears.
Workin’ the risotto!
Picnic’s breadcrumb/lemongrass topping for their fish course emerges from the oven.
Poaching up pears in simple syrup with lemongrass.
South City whips out the BLACK FORBIDDEN RICE!
Grilled curry shrimp, on the South City station.
South City plates it’s first dish, Grilled Curry Lemongrass Prawns.
Lemongrass Prawn closeup.
Picnic’s first dish emerges — Potato Leek Soup with Lemongrass, and Spinach Salad with Bacon. Now we know that it’s going to be Classic versus Modern!
Chef Michelle removing seared halibut from the pan.
Picnic’s second dish appears — Seared Halibut in Lemongrass Riesling Beurre Blanc Sauce with Potatoes, with Lemongrass “Gremolata” Breadcrumbs.
What’s this? More seafood from South City! Deep Fried Lobster, with a sweet and sour lemongrass sauce, Black Forbidden Rice and Lemongrass Bokchoy.
Chef Griffiths examines his lobster.
A pensive Bill Pitcher.
Chef Michelle checks the doneness of the Filet Mignon.
Dish #3 for South City — Lemongrass Butter Poached Monkfish, with English Pea risotto.
Picnic counters with a traditional Steak au Poivre with lemongrass peppercorn cream sauce, roasted fingerling potatoes and haricot vert.
South City plates its Lemongrass Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce.
Picnic’s Poached Pear in Lemongrass Simple Syrup with Raspberry Reduction.
and the winner is….
Christine Nunn from PICNIC CATERERS!!!
Even though South City hit hard with luxury ingredients, bold spices and over-the-top plating, Picnic’s traditional French cuisine, which used lemongrass as a simple accent flavor, reigned supreme. In the end, it was Christine’s CIA classic technique that gave her the advantage over Spinazzola.
Christine will return in two weeks to participate in the Ultimate Chef Finals. I can’t wait.