Photo Recap of Chefs for Farmers Sous Chef Competition

Cute and delicious duck confit from Trinity Groves’ Stedman Belyan. All photos by Brian Lopiccolo.

Behold, Sunday afternoon’s Chefs for Famers Get Some #@&% Credit Sous Chef Competition, to which my photographer friend and I were media guests. Eight sous chefs competed for $1,500 and bragging rights by making a dish with ingredients from one of the farms supported by Chefs for Farmers, the organization run by Matt and Iris McCallister. Ticket sales from the sold-out event raised money for Café Momentum (several of the program’s students were there assisting chefs) as well as the farms that provided the ingredients. Bolsa bartender Kyle Hilla honored the late restaurateur Randall “Big Cat” Copeland by mixing bourbon-based Boulevardiers, while three pastry chefs competed in a sweet side competition.

FT33’s Misti Norris made a goat dish with a whole animal from Windy Hill Farms; Matt Balke, who apparently ended his sous chef reign at Bolsa the night before the competition to become executive chef at Sharon Hage’s Rustic, made pea terrine with vegetables from Spiceman’s FM 1410; Central 214’s Derek Blackburn made an egg (sourced from Peace and Love Farm) and asparagus custard; Boulevardier’s Gmo Tristan made a lamb loin dish with meat from Sterling Farms; the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek’s Jared Harms made chicken (from Windy Meadows Family Farm) with a mint yogurt; The Grape’s Danyele McPherson created a jalapeno and cheddar sausage with pork from Legend Meats and Crystal Creek, served with corn, black eyed peas, and a little pork belly bacon; Trinity Groves Stedman Belyan made duck confit with vegetables from Tassione Farms; and Lucia’s Kevin Dean made a beet salad with arugula and beef from Burgundy Pasture Beef.

Gmo Tristan of Boulevardier took home the win; Danyele McPherson received the second highest number of attendee votes. Now, photos:

The winning dish: lamb loin curry (from Sterling Farms) with fried peas from Boulevardier’s Gmo Tristan.
Eddie “Lucky” Campbell mixes up Maker’s cocktails; Central 214 sous Derek Blackburn’s asparagus and egg custard.
The scene at 3015 at Trinity Groves. The acoustics in this place leave something to be desired. You can’t hear a darn thing.
Lucia’s sous chef Kevin Dean made a beet salad with arugula, beef, and bone marrow butter croutons.
Danyele McPherson of The Grape got the second highest number of votes for her jalapeno and cheddar sausage; winner Gmo Tristan of Boulevardier accepting the $1,500 prize for his lamb loin.
Someone brought a piggy, and this little boy made a new friend.
Pea terrine with microgreens and a little toast with morel butter, from former Bolsa sous chef Matt Balke.


  • Sharon

    Side Dish Liz,

    Thanks for the mention of the bad acoustics. Was it the facility or sound system? Didn’t seem to have this problem when DMagazine used our facility.

    So much for someone trying to do something nice for a great cause!


    • Carol Shih

      It was actually hard (for me) to hear at the D event, too. I’m not sure if others had a hard time, though.

    • Liz Johnstone

      Sharon, I think it’s fair to point out that the sound quality is poor. The floor is concrete, so this isn’t actually surprising. You can’t hear people on the mics. There was a similar experience at the D event, I’m told.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Sebastian

      Are the accoustics different if someone uses the speakers in the place rather than the DJs speakers? The sound was pretty bad unfortunately. Several of our foodie friends who really wanted to wait and see who won left because it was just way too loud and you couldnt understand word one on the mics (think snoopy teacher). But then I thought it might have been because of the DJ speakers and maybe the sound system in the location might be better. Otherwise its a fantastic space.

  • Greg Brown

    What an excellent time! The event was very well organized and not too crowded, either. The Chef’s were having a great time being in the limelight for sure. Big thanks to all who put this together.

    As for the acoustics–they are truly awful. I’m an audio guy and that place desparately needs some acoustic insulation to reduce the echo.

  • Jimmy Contreras

    It was a fantastic event in an outstanding venue!
    Everyone coming together the way they did was spectacular.
    And @ the end of the day, CFF’ers are a loud bunch!

  • Greg Brown

    No, it is the result of too many hard surfaces and not enough absorptive materials like carpet or curtains or acoustic inulation. The sound waves from voices and speakers have no where to dissipate and instead constantly bounce off every hard surface over and over and over, creating that ringing echo. This can be easily remedied with relatively inexpensive acoustic panels hung from the ceiling.

  • Sebastian

    Thanks Greg!

  • Rick Griggs

    Once again, Pastry Chef’s get no mention….DMag!

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