Winners in the Connecticut Chefs Challenge
More than 120 guests sampled “Cuisine for a Cause” from some of Fairfield County’s finest chefs at the Second Annual Connecticut Chefs Challenge.
Held at the Lincoln Culinary Institute in Shelton, CT and hosted by TV and Radio Personality David Smith (Cablevision’s “Meet the Leaders”), the evening started with a cocktail hour with hors d’ouevres prepared and served by Lincoln Culinary students, a silent auction, and wine tasting provided by Jones Farms Winery and Greenfield Liquor Shop complete with music from the Gary Ruggiero jazz combo.
Chef contestants hailed from Cook and Grow, DaPietro’s, Metric Bar & Grill, One-of-a-Kind Catering, Sweet Magnolia and the Trumbull Marriott. Guests were invited to tour the kitches and sample the chefs’ creations as the meals were prepared before their eyes. As one student said, “An opportunity like this doesn’t come very often – these chefs are amazing.”
Guests voted for their favorite dishes, as a panel of professional and celebrity chef judges awarded “Best Appetizer,” “Best Entrée” and “Best Dessert.”
A luminary panel of three judges: Chef Jerry Revron, Chef Director at The Taft School, Chef Daniel Lestrud of the Lincoln Culinary Institute and Chef Peter Del Franco of Avellino’s in Fairfield and the 2011 Winner, made their decisions based on a lengthy criteria list which included taste, originality and presentation. The judges awarded Best Entrée to Chef Pietro Scotti for his Ravioli del Pastore. This entry also received the People’s Choice Award, garnering the most votes by the guests in attendance.
Other winners included Chef Lynette Rosenberger for her Bread Pudding with Rum sauce and Chef Christopher Molyneux for his Black fish with seared sea scallops ceviche, Haas avocados puree and black sea salt foam.
The Connecticut Chefs Challenge was sponsored by Pullman and Comley, Community Health Network of Connecticut, People’s United Bank, Henry Schein Medical, Viking Construction, Bridgeport Hospital, Base Technologies, Drapp and Jaumann Attorneys at Law, the Connecticut Post, Bishop, Jackson & Kelly LLC, Pep Lacey and Securitas Security Systems.
“I’d like to thank our sponsors, guests, Lincoln Culinary Institute and especially the master chefs for such an amazing evening,” said Ludwig Spinelli, CEO of Optimus Health Care. “I can’t wait to taste next year’s entries.”