Edit ModuleShow Tags

DeRushaEats: Local Chef Challenge


Published:

My favorite food event of the year is coming this weekend. And it's free!

There is no bigger cooking competition in Minnesota than the Minnesota Monthly Local Chef Challenge, this Saturday and Sunday at Mall of America. It's our 4th year, and judging the competition in year one led to my job writing for the magazine.

So give thanks, or be upset about that development.

It used to be part of the Food & Wine Experience at the Convention Center, but last year we moved it to a separate event at Mall of America. I was skeptical, but it was awesome. Totally free to watch, but $10,000 on the line for the winning chef. That's serious money (chefs don't haul down the bank that you might think they do).

Last year Vincent Francoual won the money and I'm pretty sure he used it to go to France. He'll tell us more about his year as champion in the 4 p.m. competition Saturday against the 2010 winner, Jack Riebel. Jack's had a year to stew about not winning, and I expect him to bring his A game.

Other fun match-ups? I'll be curious to see Chris Thompson from Masu square off against Landon Schoenfeld from HauteDish. That's at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The whole thing starts with Doug Flicker from Piccolo taking on Jim Christiansen, the La Belle Vie veteran who helped reboot Il Gatto. I'm curious to see how those two do in the time crunch of the competition—both are very thoughtful, technical chefs. Check them out at 10 a.m.

And Patrick Atanalian from Sanctuary taking on Jim Kyndberg from Crave is the wildcard of the day—I have no idea what to expect at high noon.

Last year the "secret ingredients" included octopus, ginger snaps, barramundi, and gummi bears. What will this year bring? I have no clue.

The prelims are Saturday, the semifinals and finals are Sunday (starting at 11 a.m.). I'm the emcee, and my friends and co-bloggers Stephanie Meyer and Jason Ross will do play-by-play to share more about what the chefs are doing. You get to ask questions during the show, it's really a great time, so I hope to see you all at Mall of America!
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

VOTE: Girl Scouts Team Up with Hi-Lo Diner

Girl Scout cookie pies, donuts, and shakes—and you choose the local troop to get the sale

Pepito’s to Become El Burrito Minneapolis

The Pepito’s/Parkway Theater combo is sold to local entrepreneurs who have a restaurant tenant and theater remodeling plans.

James Beard Semifinalists Are Cheaper by the Dozen

Ten chefs and two restaurants were named to the 2018 James Beard Award semifinalist list

Banana Pudding Pie Recipe

Make some new sweet memories with a retro dessert

Bonterra Vineyards and the Future of Organic Farming

Learn how Bonterra Organic Vineyards set the standard for organic winemaking, then sample Bonterra at this year's Food & Wine Experience March 3-4, 2018

10 Best Friday Fish Fries for Lent

Christian or not, get your fried fish here around the Twin Cities

3 Things to Eat This Week: Valentine's Edition

If you forgot to make reservations for Valentine's Day week, you're not too late—these, ahem, romantic spots will still have you

Kimchi and Gruyère Pizza Recipe

Step up your pizza game with outside-the-box homemade pie

Great Breakfast with Great Coffee

Stellar food, top-tier coffee—at these Twin Cities restaurants
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags