Insider Report from the Caesar Salad Competition

As you know, Nancy was in Atlanta this weekend and wasn’t able to attend the AIWF Caesar Salad Competition. No surprise here: She had a reporter on the scene. NN picked one of our loyal Dishers to cover the event for the blog (a Snootyfoodie, at that), and her report follows below, with pics. As we know, chef John Tesar won, but what you might not know–like what Scott Murray was wearing–is after the jump.

P.S. Wanna cover an event for SideDish? If you play your cards right, maybe you’ll be next.

(Not Only) The Devil Wears Prada

Everyone who attended this year’s AIWF Caesar Salad competition got crabs.  Sevy’s brulee’d a wickedly spicy concoction, Oceanaire mounded king with heirloom tomatoes, and Truluck’s (3rd place) offered up a ménage a trois – blue, peeky toe, and king.

Kudos to host Chef J.W. Foster who had, by far, the most elaborate display.  A tree limb was notched with skewers of roasted quail and surrounded by fresh herbs.  With his lemony dressing and blue cheese polenta, his combination was good enough for 2nd place.  We also have to give props to French Room Chef Jason Weaver whose grilled cheese and chorizo sandwich topped with an Italian anchovy was a contender on our ballot.

But when the crowd was finally Caesar’d out, it was Mansion Chef John Tesar who raised his tongs in victory.  His tempura sweetbreads with shaved pecorino was rockin’ and his anchovy-less dressing had a richer consistency (likely from his use of coddled eggs).  And serving it with a snow cone cup of cold Heineken was genius!  Obviously this lean, mean, culinary machine is used to cooking on a big stage and his accolades are aplenty, but when Prada slaps their label on your chef jacket, I think you’ve officially arrived.

The only thing cheesier than all the parmesan reggiano toppings?  Emcee Scott Murray in what looked like a Miami Vice meets pirate shirt from Seinfeld mock turtleneck.

Scott Murray with chefs John Tesar, and Jason Weaver.

The winning salad.

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