The Local Ladle

Culinary Fight Club- Chicago

Culinary Fight Club

Recently selected as an “Official Qualifying Event” for the World Food Championships, Culinary Fight Club is no walk in the park! The Windy City Chili Chitown event held at Morgan Manufacturing was a competition that brought fire and smoke, literally!

What is Culinary Fight Club? Culinary Fight Club hosts live cooking competitions, which they call TasteBudChallenges, that are currently in Chicago and Atlanta, but rapidly growing nationally.  No two events are the same. The teams of cooks race to choose 15 ingredients in 45 seconds from the pantry of food provided. Once the ingredients are collected, each team has 60 minutes to construct a dish that depicts their take on the monthly theme. These Chefs and cooks of all levels around the area compete for a “Golden Ticket,” to advance to the Super Bowl of “food sport” events, the World Food Championships! Once the timer hit 60 minutes, the audience members and judges sample and vote on a winning dish.

The most amazing part about this concept is that the Culinary Fight Club is partnered with Fight2Feed, which 20% of proceeds are donated.  This is an organization that partners with top restaurants and food trucks to provide service and support to hungry men, women and children.

Culinary Fight Club Windy City Chili Event- February 16th

This was my first Culinary Fight Club competition! Let me tell you, this event was heaven for any Foodie. Being surrounded by creative minds all while drinking, eating, and enjoying some healthy competition made for a memorable night!  It was fascinating to witness the diverse group of chefs and cooks being instructed to cook something as simple as chili, but the outcome at each station was completely different from the next.Culinary Fight Club

Chef Tim Davidson,  the Chef de Cuisine at Troquet River North, presented his chili in an avocado with a shot of tequila and made use of a blowtorch to create a caramelization on his meat.  A veteran of Culinary Fight Club participant and winner of the Windy City Chili tasters choice award, Hipolito Sánchez focused on substituting lamb for his meat and utilizing smoke to give the chili a smoke filled aroma and taste.  Finally the champions of the ring and the 2016 ChiTown Chili showdown winners, kept it country in their cowboy hats and flavors. This team also had my favorite presentation with the chili served in a vintage shallow can on what looked like a wooden cutting board with white daisies laying over side. Culinary Fight Club

The host and MC of the evening and 2016 Amazing Culinary Fight Club Race Winner, Kristina Gaardbo and her counterpart Anthony Martorina, the Culinary Fight Club Cheferee, did a fabulous job bringing a powerful personality and flawless organization to the competition.

The early bird ticket for $30.00 provided one hour free beer and wine, Chef samples, and a taster’s choice voting ballot. While waiting for the 60 minute timer to go off, nosh was provided by one of the judges Turon Cummings, owner of the catering company Creative Concepts.

I highly recommend checking out these upcoming events! I’ll see you there!

Culinary Fight Club

Upcoming Events:

  • March 16th- Bacon
  • May 16th-The Taco Takedown
  • August 15th- Street Home Chicago BBQ
  • September 19th- Burger
  • October 17th- Amazing Race

Buy tickets for upcoming events here!

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