Beaulieu Vineyards partnered with food-related charities AmpleHarvest.org and City Harvest to help support the fight against hunger in America with the BV Give & Give Back Chef Challenge. The cooking competition was held at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York on World Food Day (Oct. 16) and hosted by actor Chris Noth.
The event challenged four New York chefs to create tasty and nutritious meals using only ingredients that can usually be found in area food pantries at this time of year. The chefs–Orlando Sanchez, of Butcher Bar; Luke Venner, executive chef of BLT Fish Shack; Jose Luis Flores, corporate chef of Richard Sandoval Restaurants; and Pecko Zantilaveevan, executive chef of The Four Seasons–had 30 minutes to work their magic.
The chefs’ creations were then rated by Noth (of Law & Order, Sex and the City and The Good Wife TV fame) and judges Gary Oppenheimer, executive director/founder of AmpleHarvest.org, Cindy Avila, PR director for ICE, and Sabrina Sexton, lead chef instructor at ICE. The panel evaluated the dishes in areas of taste, nutritional value, affordability, scalability, creativity/visual appeal and use of fresh ingredients.
The winner was BLT Fish’s Venner for his Warm Potato and Kale Salad with Poached Eggs and Green Goddess dressing. “We didn’t really like the [canned] tuna or chicken protein options, so we went with an egg dish,” Venner said. Beaulieu Vineyards awarded Venner a $10,000 donation in his name from to the food charity of his choice, Grow NYC.
The judging panel seemed to like all of the creations, including a Maple Pancake Chicken Salad Melt (which creator Sanchez, said was inspired by McDonalds’ McGriddle), Flores’ Tuna Croquettes with Pepper Cream Sauce & Spinach Salad, and Zantilaveevan’s Baked Apple Chicken Cake.
BV and AmpleHarvest.org are working together to help feed more families across the U.S. From now until the end of the year, people can text “Give” to 79008 and BV will donate $1 up to $50,000 to Ampleharvest.org to aid in hunger relief.