Judges Gail Simmons from Bravo's Top Chef and chef Michel Richard with Sophie Gayot
Well I told you I would keep you posted of what happened during the 7th “Almost Famous Chef” competition by Nestlé Waters North America under the that took place in St. Helena, California on March 7th and 8th 2009. Acqua Panna
Below are pictures of the “Signature Dish” competition, held on the second day, with the ten contestants prepping in the kitchen and showing us their creations before we judged them. With just a sous chef from to help The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone , they had just four hours to cook two hundred plated tasting portions.
I was a judge along with eighteen others, including chef Michel Richard from Citronelle, and Gail Simmons, a regular judge on Bravo’s Top Chef. Hundreds of guests also got to taste and vote for the “ People’s Choice” winner.
The winners are:
– “ Overall Winner”: David Awad, from Connecticut Culinary Institute
– “ ”; Mystery Basket , from Connecticut Culinary Institute David Awad
– “Signature Dish”: Kendra Orng, from International Culinary School at The Art Institute California, Los Angeles
– “People’s Choice”: Joe Branton, Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College.
You can click on each photo to enlarge. (All photos by Sophie Gayot)
Judges Gail Simmons from Bravo’s Top Chef and chef Michel Richard with Sophie Gayot
#10 Jason Plato dish: my rating 7/10. Seared sea scallops, spring pea ravioli with spring vegetables and chanterelle beurre fondue.
#10 Jason Plato by his sign
#10 Jason Plato prepping in the kitchen
#9 Francisco Lopez prepping in the kitchen
#8 WINNER David Awad dish: my rating 8/10. Pan-seared lamb loin, clover honey and fresh mint glaze, cheese polenta, kalamata olive and artichoke salad and hummus crisp
#8 WINNER David Awad by his sign
#8 WINNER David Awad prepping in the kitchen
#7 PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNER Joe Branton dish: my rating 6/10. Pork two ways with Carolina gold risotto and brussels sprouts.
#7 PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNER Joe Branton by his sign
#7 PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNER Joe Branton prepping in the kitchen
#6 Erik Powers dish: my rating 6/10. Pan-seared Atlantic cod with crispy guanciale, grill-smoked fingerling potato salad, maple-balsamic glaze and red beet jus.
#6 Erik Powers by his sign
#6 Erik Powers prepping in the kitchen
#5 Gerardo Avalos dish: my rating 5/10. Ponzu-glazed black cod, stir-fried shiitakes, bell peppers, baby bok choy and ginger pork wontons.
#5 Gerardo Avalos by his sign
#5 Gerardo Avalos prepping in the kitchen
#4 Daniel Agregaard dish: my rating 6/10. Seared venison loin with root vegetable trio and a pomegranate julie.
#4 Daniel Agregaard by his sign
#4 Daniel Agregaard prepping in the kitchen
#3 WINNER OF THE DAY Kendra Orng dish: my rating 7/10. Chipotle-braised pork, crispy potato polenta cake and warm tomato-asiago emulsion.
#3 WINNER OF THE DAY Kendra Orng by her sign
#3 WINNER OF THE DAY Kendra Orng prepping in the kitchen
#2 Lyssa Barrera dish: my rating 5/10. Piglet tenderloin in a chestnut crust served with a maple syrup whisky sauce.
#2 Lyssa Barrera by her sign
#2 Lyssa Barrera prepping in the kitchen
#1 Jerome Rejano dish: my rating 7/10. Grilled flat iron steak with miso potato puree and tempura enoki mushroom.
#1 Jerome Rejano by his sign
#1 Jerome Rejano prepping in the kitchen