What do you get when you combine five chefs, one main ingredient, the bounty of Whole Foods and 45 minutes of high pressure cooking? Why, The Ultimate Food Fight at Whole Foods in Henderson, of course, where last week the talented toques from five separate Whole Foods Markets squared off over….stuffing!
Yes, stuffing (or dressing as some folks call it) …that staple of holiday meals was the main ingredient that the chefs had 45 minutes to dress up with everything from corn to kombu (judge Brian Howard’s diabolical mandatory adjunct to the basket of ingredients).
If you will permit ELV an aside….he generally thinks these contrived competitions — be they on Chopped, Top Chef, or a local food store event — border on the absurd, and do nothing to identify who is or is not the most talented cook. But the public loves them, even if the results are something you’re never likely to eat, and they do showcase the speed and alacrity which most professional chefs work at….as well as forcing them to think outside of their comfort zones. So, even if Chef Derek Harrison’s Napoleon of root vegetables and stuffing may not make it into any cookbook, it was interesting to see him conceive and execute the thing in such a short period of time.
As for the other entries: ELV was surprised to see scallops and shrimp used so much by the other chefs, and was contumaciously confused concerning the copiousness of kale, but other than that, a good time was had by all, the chefs made the best of an odd, situation (or at least an odd ingredient), and made the event a blast for all who attended.
Congrats to Nathan Horton from San Diego for winning with his sausage-stuffing balls with fruit sauce, and to Whole Foods for an event that put everyone in the mood for a holiday turkey.
100 South Green Valley Parkway
Henderson, NV 89012