The Tennessee Cincinnati game isn’t the only heated battle in downtown Knoxville this Saturday- local Chefs Jamie Hull of Nama Downtown and Martha Boggs of the Bistro at the Bijou will battle for the top spot at the monthly Chef Challenge sponsored by Three Rivers Market. Although we don’t expect touchdowns or penalties, we do expect some good ole cookin’ from these veteran chefs. If you ask us, it really is peak season for competition as summer produce begins to wane but the fall goodies are parading in.
Hull, a self-taught culinary whiz, is known for her creative use of ingredients, on the spot inspiration and complex balanced flavors. At Nama sushi bar, her chef choice rolls are practically famous- she creates a roll catered to the diner based on their likes and preferences while seeking inspiration from the bounty of fresh seafood and veggies she has available.
Martha Boggs, owner and Chef of the Bistro at the Bijou, is committed to local food. She has a seasonally-changing menu and features vegetables from her own garden or the one maintained just for the restaurant. She runs daily specials and always has a variety to please vegetarians and omnivores alike.
Are your taste buds salivating yet? Well you don’t have to wait much longer to witness this culinary feast. This Saturday, you have a chance to not only gain some mad skills, you can win a 3-course lunch for two. Shopping takes place from 10:00-11:00, cooking from 11:00-12:00 and then the judging and auction at noon(ish).
This event is only possible with the funds and manpower from our dear-to-our-hearts sponsor- Three Rivers Market. These guys have been hard at work moving and opening their brand new store on Central Avenue, but they still have time to come help out at the chef challenge. Check out the photos below to see some of the photos of the inside. It’s great to finally have a grocery store in Happy Holler! Whether you need groceries or a quick bite to eat (today the hot bar had gypsy soup and an Asian-inspired medley of entrees and sides) it’s time for you to check out their hot new location at 1100 North Central Street- they’ve got tons of parking for those on four and two wheels!
The annual battle between La Costa and Oodles brought a crowd of onlookers anxiously waiting to win lunch for two. The chefs, David of La Costa, and Karl and David of Oodles started out with a bang running around the market in search of ingredients and inspiration.
After shopping from vendors across the market the chefs began to turn raw ingredients into 3-course meals fit for the most elegant dining. Between the smells of bacon and biscuits from Cruze Farm next door and the sausage and veggies sauteing at the chef challenge, it was hard to stand by without salivating
Oodles Winning Menu!
Cucumber Watermelon Gazpacho with Nasturtiums in a Cucumber Cup with an Heirloom Tomato Watermelon Rosemary Skewer
Seared Duck Breast over a panfried polenta cake with a Haricot Vert and Mixed Cherry Tomato Saute and Fig Sauce
Goat Cheese Whipped Cream Parfait with berries and a homemade farmers’ market granola bar
La Costa Menu
Spring Creek Ground Pork Chorizo over pan-fried bread topped with an over-easy quail egg
Spring Creek Rack of Lamb over a root vegetable saute
Marinated sweet and spicy peaches with a bread crumble and blueberry foam
The results of the 2011 tomato tasting are in! With three tomatoes winning for the second year in a row (all but the hybrid category).We had a few first time entrants we’d like to honor- John Ledbetter, Gary Van Cott, Colvin Family Farm and Dean Yoder. Thank you to all farmers’ for your hardwork, tasters for your input and Liz from Earth Fare for volunteering to dice endless mounds of tomatoes! See you next year!
Cherry and Grape Tomatoes
Pretties: A Place of the Heart Farm
Sun Sugar Gold: Mountain Meadows Farm- 1st place
Juliet: Colvin Family Farm
Yellow Cherries: Gary Van Cott
Striped Roman: Rushy Springs Farm- 1st place
Yellow Bell: Rushy Springs Farm
Cherokee Purple: Mountain Meadows Farm
Black Trifele: Rushy Springs Farm
Amish Paste: Rushy Springs Farm: 2nd place (lost by 3 votes)
Cherokee Black: Crosswind Farm- 1st place
Cherokee Green: Crosswind Farm
Heirloom Red: Crosswind Farm
Mr. Stripey: Gary Van Cott: 3rd place (lost by 5 votes)
Mr. Stripey: Rooster’s Crow Farm
Cherokee Purple: Rooster’s Crow Farm
Pink Beauty: Abundant Acres (Farmers’ favorite)
Sun King: Abundant Acres
Mountain Fresh: Mountain Meadows Farm
Pink Beauty: Crosswind Farm
Lemon Boy: Crosswind Farm- 1st place
Country Gentleman: Crosswind Farm
Better Boy: Crosswind Farm- 2nd place
Once again, Three Rivers Market and the Market Square Farmers’ Market bring to you the monthly Chef Challenge- the most riveting event this side of the Tennessee River. This isn’t just another run-of-the-mill cooking event, it’s a rivalry that’s been alive since the very first chef challenge in 2008, when Oodles and La Costa battled for the title of Inaugural Chef Challenge Champion. After four years of competition, La Costa has a narrow margin with a 2-1 record. Will they tie it up this year with an Oodles victory, or will La Costa jump ahead of the game?
With Oodles boasting Italian-inspired comfort food, and La Costa operating as a Southern-Latin fusion restaurant, you can expect bold flavors and clean techniques. Chef David Quick, a veteran challenge participant (and winner) is a Seymour native and graduate of Walters State Community College. Quick, is excited to spend a day out of the restaurant, not to mention his enthusiasm about all the great produce and proteins available at the market. He describes his cooking style as, “fun, daring, fresh and simple… not afraid of crossing flavor boundaries, and I also have a sense of humor. I love to cook and have fun with it so anything that says that is all me.” Good luck to Chef Carl of Oodles as well, who is a newbie to the Chef Challenge Competition.
The Chef Challenge is an iron-chef inspired head-to-head challenge between two local chefs. Each chef is given forty dollars in market money, aka farmers’ market currency, and has one hour to shop for ingredients to create a three-course meal for two. The meals are judged by market vendors and auctioned off to the public. Shopping begins at 10:00 a.m., cooking at 11:00 a.m. and the judging and auction take place at noon. The suggested donation to receive a raffle ticket is $1 and all proceeds go to benefit the MSFM. The event date is Saturday, August 13, 2011.
Three Rivers Market is the sole sponsor of the monthly event for the second year in a row. TRM is a cooperatively-owned, locally-focused grocery specializing in organic and certified naturally grown produce. Items from farmers’ market vendors such as organic eggs from JEM farm, cheese from Locust Grove Farm, produce from John Ledbetter and milk from Cruze Dairy Farm, can be found at TRM. The market is excited to work with an organization that not only supports the farmers’ market, but reaches out to local farmers and artisans as well. TRM is located at 937 N. Broadway and open to the customers everyday from 9 a.m.- 9 p.m. They are excited to move to their new location on Central Ave. in the upcoming weeks. The new building features more prepared food and comfy tables to enjoy the delicious soups, sandwich and deli items on, not to mention a dog-friendly patio! With more space comes more great things for you to enjoy like locally grown flowers, sliced cheeses, deli meats and more check-out lines. Be sure to visit the current location for some nostalgic memories (and great deals!) Stop by the market to show your support for TRM.