Event - Next Golden Chef

The Golden Foodie Awards! They're coming! I attended the Next Golden Chef competition on Saturday because my friend was competing and also to check out what people were making.


The contestants there were the competition's semi-finalists who had submitted recipes to be considered in an earlier part. The rules were laid out; every contestant had to provide 1 presentation plate  and 8 tasting plates after 2 hours of cooking. The judging scale's weight had 20% on culinary skills (including sanitation), 20% on recipe content, 20% on sticking to the recipe, and 40% on taste. The top 3 would move on to the mystery basket challenge which I unfortunately did not stay long enough to see. However, the first round was amazing (as were the refreshments). The judges were Susan Irby, Katy Clark, Pascal Olhats, Wing Lam, Mareya Ibrahim, Daniel Mattos, Rich Manning, and guest judge Jason Quinn. 


It was awesome to see everyone go into cooking mode. Below are the entries:

Hoa Ngi Trinh - cajun potstickers with a wasabi soy sauce on the side

Heidi Roark - airline chicken breast with spicy peach BBQ sauce

Vincent Espinoza - a beautiful top sirloin atop wasabi risotto and sauteed broccolini smothered in a ginger verblanc and complemented with a pear crisp that had been dipped in simple syrup


Veronica Baggs - filet mignon chimichurri atop cilantro parsley puree 


Rachel Fleischer - vegan roasted fig goat cheese salad w/blackberry citrus compote

Devereux Alo - crusted tilapia with mango sauce and microgreens

Eric Tang - house special lobster paired with Chinese sausage and lobster egg fried rice (by the way, can you believe he had just graduated high school this year?)


Francis Laureano - a gorgeous pannacotta with raspberry gelee; a vanilla bean mint sauce was on the side and the glass was accented by a salted Florentine cracker he made himself

Bryan Householder - lime and herb marinated lamb kabob with salsa verde


Roshelle May - a braised lamb duo of chops & rack accompanied by swiss chard and red wine-candied pearl onion (beautiful!)

Kacee Dozier - macadamia nut topped chicken breast with a lemongrass coconut emulsion and ginger

Tyler Moiser - herb marinated chicken breast with oranges & red leaf lettuce salad

Khoi Pham - stuffed pork tenderloin w/roasted mashed potato & crushed tomato sauce

Tanisha Thatcher - three cheese arancini w/prosciutto risotto and a side of spaghetti squash (can someone say homage to spaghetti and meatballs?)

Alex Hernandez - poached apple w/chocolatey mangoes & banana mousse (Impressive - he is still in high school!)

Paul Robinson - airline chicken breast with Chardonnay mushroom puree

The winners were Roshelle, Vincent, and Francis! Congratulations! Great job to my friend Rachel who competed. I unfortunately had to leave before I could see what the Mystery Basket Challenge produced from the hard-working finalists but I did sneak a peek at some of the basket contents. What could one do with such an assortment? I saw apricots, carrots, avocado, red wine noodles, eggs, butter lettuce, and other such wonders. To find out the outcome, go to the Golden Foodie Awards where the actual next Golden Chef will be announced in September; check that out when it comes by. The Next Golden Chef gets a $25,000 culinary school scholarship!

Photography by Minerva Thai. More photos available on Facebook.