BBQ Battle of the South Coast Plaza Chefs
Take two South Coast Plaza chefs. One upscale home appliance showroom. And lots of ingredients for a barbecue. Add it all up and you’ve got the first annual BBQ Battle of the Chefs by Monark Premium Appliance Co.
The cooking competition drew about 150 people to the showroom, where they enjoyed a beautiful summer produce display and delicious bites from chefs representing premium cookery lines Wolf and Hestan. Charbroiled fresh oysters served sizzling in the shell and topped with molten Parmesan quickly became a crowd favorite.
The battle began when baskets containing the ingredients – beef tenderloin, summer corn and heirloom tomatoes – were presented to the two competitors, executive chef partner Chris Hutten with The Capital Grille and chef-owner Ross Pangilinan of the soon-to-open TERRACE by Mix Mix. Monark’s general manager Chris Arnold presided as master of ceremonies.
Chef Chris created a Cajun spice-rubbed chateaubriand, smoked marble potato salad, heirloom tomato jam and charred corn relish on an Alfresco grill.
Chef Ross came up with Japanese marinated beef tenderloin with lemongrass corn purée and an heirloom tomato salad, grilling his ingredients on a Kalamazoo grill.
Guests tasted the two dishes then voted for their favorite on secret ballots. By the slimmest of margins, chef Ross scored the win, with several guests mentioning how the lemongrass and ginger flavors in the corn purée swayed them.
Monark management awarded chef Ross cookware and chef Chris knives. As for the crowd, they had a unique opportunity to see the Alfresco and Kalamazoo outdoor grills in action and find inspiration for a Southern California summer barbecue.