Chefs put their pedal to the metal during Catersource + The Special (held May 2-5 in Anaheim, CA) during the annual DICED competition, where chefs were challenged to create both a savory and sweet bite inspired by one of the four seasons. This year’s judges (Christina Matteucci, Chris Taylor and DuVal Warner) selected spring for their season. Robin Selden (Marcia Selden Catering & Events) served as emcee for the competition.
“I want fresh, bright flavors that are tantalizing and yummy," Matteucci said.
The DICED competitors were challenged to create two appetizing bites for judges (one sweet and one savory) based on one of the four seasons. The judges selected spring as their preferred season.
This year’s mystery boxes (whose ingredients each chef had to use in some capacity) included Boursin IQF cheese, One World Beef’s beef ribeye and beef tallow, General Mills’ vegan, dairy-free vanilla yogurt from and Fresh Origin micro greens.
The mystery boxes (whose ingredients each chef had to use in some capacity) included some cheese, beef ribeye, beef tallow, a vegan, dairy-free vanilla yogurt from and micro greens.
Ultimately, the coveted DICED trophy (and a $1500 Amazon gift card) went to Chef Mike Bicocchi with Elegant Affairs Caterers for his springtime bites: beef tartare with radish, watermelon, pickled carrots and zucchini; and watermelon cup with cheese, yogurt, honey, and pistachio). “You hit the nail on the head for the season," said one of the judges.
The judges for this year’s DICED competition were: keynote speaker Christina Matteucci (David Beahm Experiences), DuVal Warner (Ranch 45), and Chris Taylor (who won the 2022 competition).
The crowd favorite award (a $500 Amazon gift card) went to Connor Black (Footers Catering) who created a mini gyro bite and a brûlée watermelon bite.
Robin Selden (Marcia Selden Catering & Events) served as emcee for the competition.
The coveted DICED trophy (and a $1500 Amazon gift card) went to Chef Mike Bicocchi with Elegant Affairs Caterers.
Mike Bicocchi (Elegant Affairs Caterers) took home this year’s DICED trophy. His savory bite was a “watermelon radish pinch” comprised of beef tartare, soy sauce, red onion, pickled carrot and zucchini, and some micro sweet herbs.
Mike Bicocchi (Elegant Affairs Caterers) took home this year’s DICED trophy. His sweet bite was comprised of a watermelon cup filled with a cheese and yogurt filling accompanied by crushed pistachios and micro flowers.
Connor Black (Footers Catering) presents his finished bites to the judges during the DICED competition.
Connor Black’s (Footer’s Catering) savory bite was his take on a mini gyro bite, comprised of pita, beef tenderloin, a homemade Tzatziki sauce, tomato, and micro basil.
Deanna Johnson (Bold Catering & Events) plans her strategy for the DICED competition.
Deanna Johnson (Bold Catering & Events) presented judges with a savory bite comprised of a sweet Hawaiian roll crostini accompanied by a Boursin cheese mousse, coffee and serrano chile rubbed tenderloin with a sweet pepper and green onion relish.
Jeanelle Powery (Choctaw Casino & Resort) remains laser focused during the DICED competition.
Jeanelle Powery (Choctaw Casino & Resort) dessert bite for the DICED competition featured fresh berries and Nutella.
Bryce Cherven from Strateje Fourteen
Bryce Cherven’s (Strateje Fourteen) savory bite featured: seared King’s Hawaiian roll, seared beef in a teriyaki seasoning, accompanied by Boursin cheese.
Brenda Backal (Bback4more LLC / BB's Kitchen) prepared a taco comprised of seared tenderloin, portobello mushrooms, radishes and blue cheese crumbles.
Brenda Backal (Bback4more LLC / BB's Kitchen) prepared her take on a strawberry parfait (with rosemary and caramel) for the “sweet bite” portion of the DICED competition.
All photos courtesy WASIO Photography