Thursday, December 12, 2013
Peter Sueltenfuss, with Jason Loring. All photos courtesy of Ted Axelrod/Axelrod Photography
The chef with home-kitchen advantage took home the prize - very appropriately, a meat cleaver - in Good Shepherd Food Bank's first-ever 'Chopped Challenge' at Grace last night. In front of a sold-out crowd Peter Sueltenfuss beat Jeff Landry of The Farmer's Table, Mitch Gerow of East Ender and Jason Loring of Nosh in three rounds of heated competition based on Food Network's Chopped. The event raised $12,000 for Good Shepherd's Cooking Matters program, which teaches food recipients how to cook.
From left: Meredith Goad; Rob Evans; Joe Ricchio
Judges for the event were Portland Press Herald's own Meredith Goad, Joe Ricchio, formerly food editor of Maine Magazine and Rob Evans of Duckfat, an actual Chopped Champion. Guests nibbled on food from Eventide Oyster Co., Buck's Naked BBQ, The Holy Donut, and other restaurants while behind the bar, mixologists from Portland Hunt & Alpine Club, LFK and Grace shook up signature cocktails.
Jeff Landry of The Farmer's Table and Jason Loring working on the first course
Pete Sueltenfuss' first course: Broccoli soup with pollock sausage
Peter Sueltenfuss of Grace and Mitch Gerow of East Ender under the gun to finish the main course
Jason Loring's entree, which Joe Ricchio dubbed "Swamp Nachos" and all the judges thought was delicious.
Sueltenfuss' entree: Venison Bolognese with spaetzle
Event master-of-ceremonies Spencer Albee and Grace owner Anne Verrill
Joe Ricchio (right) and Jeff Landry after Landry was "chopped" in the appetizer round.
Action at the bar
Jason Loring's dessert featured tempura-fried bacon
The winning dessert: Sueltenfuss' graham cracker churro
And the winner is ... Peter Sueltenfuss, being congratulated by Jason Loring.Tweet
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.
Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs. A newcomer to Portland, she is an online content producer for the Press Herald.
Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod [at] pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @susansaxelrod