Six chefs had their war faces on during Catersource + The Special Event (held March 27-30 in Orlando, FL) during the annual DICED competition (held on March 29th), where chefs competed in the Battle of the Burgers.
"Embellish your plates," Chef Robin Selden with Marcia Selden Catering & Events (and the competition's host) advised chefs before the start of the competition. "It's not just a burger on a plate."
This year’s judges were Chef Nettie Frank, Chef Mike Biococchi with Elegant Affairs Caterers (and last year's DICED champion), and Chef Christian Hernandez with Rosendale Events.
The esteemed panel of judges (from left to right): Chef Nettie Frank, Mike Biococchi with Elegant Affairs Caterers (and last year's DICED champion), and Chef Christian Hernandez with Rosendale Events.
As with any great competition, a little twist was thrown into the mix in the form of "mystery boxes," which included various ingredients that chefs had to incorporate into their burgers. This year’s mystery ingredients included Persian cucumbers, dried guajillo peppers, panko breadcrumbs, strawberries, and giardiniera (an Italian pickled salad).
"I'm kind of stuck on the panko," Selden joked. "You don't want to make a meatball burger."
Bryce Cherven (Footers Catering) begins to unpack this year's mystery box (Persian cucumbers, dried guajillo peppers, panko breadcrumbs, strawberries, and giardiniera).
The six competitors (Brian Arliss, Holly Sheppard, Bryce Cherven, Joshua House, David Kinney, and Phuoc Vo) were judged on taste, presentation, creativity, and originality.
The judges had their work cut out for them this year!
In a twist this year, the crowd favorite trophy (and $500 Amazon gift card) was handed out first (as the judges struggled to add up their scores) to Phuoc Vo with CBK Catering & Events for his Latin-inspired burger.
As for the judge's favorite?
"The crowd doesn't lie," Biococchi said.
It was a clean sweep for Vo as he went on to be named this year's DICED champion (and $1,500 Amazon gift card recipient).
Phuoc Vo with CBK Catering & Events received both the judge's choice and crowd's choice trophies.
All photos courtesy WASIO Faces
Phuoc Vo, CBK Catering & Events
The Protein: Sirloin
The Burger: A Latin influenced smashed burger with panko panade, cucumber and strawberry slaw, salsa camañanga, spicy mayo, cheese skirt, and homemade tortilla chips on the side.
Brian Arliss, Partyman Catering
The Protein: Pork
The Burger: A pork slider featuring deep fried pork and various pickled items (corn, onion, strawberries, and cucumber) with fried potatoes on the side.
Holly Sheppard, Fig & Pig Catering
The Protein: Chicken
The Burger: Seared chicken burger with peanut, coconut, and panko topped with cilantro stems, pickled cucumber, carrot, chili, and a strawberry fish sauce aioli.
Bryce Cherven, Footers Catering
The Protein: Sirloin
The Burger: An Asian-style burger with Korean barbecue sauce, kimchi slaw, and rice wine pickled cucumbers on the side.
Joshua House, The JDK Group
The Protein: Bison
The Burger: A bison meatloaf slider with a banh mi slaw and Thai chili sauce.
David Kinney, Catering Creations
The Protein: Turkey
The Burger: A turkey burger with barbecue seasonings, mozzarella cheese, cucumbers, a kimchi and potato hashbrown tater tot, and served with a strawberry milkshake.
See more from this year's Catersource + Special Event in the summer issue of Catersource magazine!