Announcing the Green Chef Cook-off winners
Cal Poly’s Real Food Collaborative gave CCBioneers/Central Coast Ag Network Food & Farming Celebration participants an experience they will never forget Saturday night, Oct. 20 at the Green Chef Cook-off event. Fifteen teams of student chefs vied for cash prizes as they brought out dish after dish to the hungry crowd from the Monday Club kitchen. Judging honors were performed by Linnaea Phillips, former owner of Linnae’s Cafè, Robin Burnside, former kitchen manager of Esalen and author of The Homesteader’s Kitchen: Recipes from Farm to Table, and two volunteers from the audience, Michael Sullivan and Serena Carlin. The winner in the appetizer category was Derek Sisting, with his eggplant bruschetta. The winning entrée, a tomato-veggie tart, was created by Natalie Darr and Michael Crivello. And taking the honor for best desert were Michelle Smolarski and Kelsey Tigh with their apple-pumpkin seed cheesecake. The green chefs did not know what their surprise ingredient was until the day before the competition, when the appetizer chefs received boxes of bunching onions and bush beans, the entrée chefs were given tomatoes, and the dessert chefs received crates of apples. The chefs were judged on taste, creativity with the surprise ingredient and sustainability in their cooking practices. Thanks go to surprise ingredient donors Cal Poly Organic Farm and SLO Apple Creek Farm.