Food, food, and even more food. That was the theme for Loaves and Fishes Community Services Chef Showdown Competition. Executive chef Crispin Plata of Meson Sabika, with the help of his sous chef’s Rebecca Boyd-Obarski and Dave Kelsch, took on fellow executive chef Mark Grimes of Che Figata, and his team of Laura Bokar and Joe Chura.
Both sides were fired up for the event.
“We told them they should just go home now like we got it, Joe and I got this, with Mark we got it,” Laura Bokar said confidently.
“We got this hands down. So, were going to look casual, but we got it. And if we have to pull some tricks at the end, nobody’s looking,” Rebecca Boyd-Obarski jokingly said.
Chef Showdown Rules
The two teams prepared a three-course meal that paid homage to the non-profits name.
“They’ll be making an appetizer and they have to use a loaf, because we’re Loaves and Fishes,” said Nancy Weirsum, vice president of advancement at Loaves and Fishes. “Then they’ll make an entrée with fish because we’re Loaves and Fishes and then they’ll be making a dessert.”
The teams quickly got to work as they had just one hour to prepare and present their dishes to a panel of judges.
How Both Teams Were Judged
Eddie Sweeney, a judge and last year’s winner, gave us an inside look on how he scored both teams.
“Obviously the flavor and taste of the food and the creativity. And actually the cleanliness of the work space is important to me,” said Sweeny.
The Goal Of Chef Showdown
While the event was a competition, contestants didn’t lose track of the importance of the showdown.
“If somebody has to win of course I would love to win but it’s a friendly competition,” said Mark Grimes. “And honestly I don’t want to lose sight of the goal is to raise awareness and funds for a really good charity.”
Grimes and his team were crowned champions, but the real winner was Loaves and Fishes who will help feed over 18,000 people thanks to funds raised by the showdown this year.
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.
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