Chef Duvinh Ta – Chef of the Fest

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sandiegobayCHEF DUVINH TA OF JAKE’S DEL MAR CROWNED “CHEF OF THE FEST” AT THE 2014 SAN DIEGO BAY WINE & FOOD FESTIVALTM

Duvinh Ta’s Dry Rubbed Pork Ribs with Sambal BBQ Sauce, Watermelon Radish, and Zucchini Slaw Wins Grand Prize at 2014 San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

In conjunction with the American Culinary Federation, the San Diego Bay Wine & Food FestivalTM is proud to announce the winners of this year’s Chef of the Fest Competition. The annual competition brings San Diego chefs head-to-head in a fierce culinary competition judged by the San Diego Chapter of the American Culinary Federation along with celebrity guest judges. This year’s “Chef of the Fest” title went to Chef Duvinh Ta of Jake’s Del Mar for his dish, “Dry Rubbed Pork Ribs, with Sambal BBQ Sauce, Watermelon Radish and Zucchini Slaw.” This year’s “Chef of the Fest” winners were announced at the Big Green Egg Grill Zone Demonstration Stage during the Grand Tasting Event on November 22-the perfect conclusion to the weeklong food and wine festival, said San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival co-producer, Michelle Metter.

Each year, the San Diego Chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), a professional organization of chefs and culinarians, judges the Chef of the Fest Competition. The San Diego Chapter Secretary, Chef Katherine Emmenegger, was lead coordinator of the judging process. Eight celebrity chef guests joined in judging responsibilities, Chef of the Fest Judges included:

1. William Bradley, Celebrity Chef Judge – Executive Chef and Director, Addison at the Grand Del Mar

2.James Campbell Caruso, Celebrity Chef Judge – Chef and Ownter, La Boca and Taberna in Santa Fe, New Mexico

3. RJ Cooper, Celebrity Chef Judge – Chef-Owner, Rogue 24 and Gypsy Soul in Washington D.C.

4. Katsuya Fukushima, Celebrity Chef Judge – Chef-Owner, Daikaya in Washington D.C.

5. Axel Dirolf, Celebrity Chef Judge – Executive Chef of Culinary Operations, SeaWorld San Diego and Aquatica

6. Suzette Gresham, Celebrity Chef Judge – Executive Chef, Acquerello, San Francisco

7. Dustin Homen, Celebrity Chef Judge – Senior Executive Chef, Morrison Management Specialists

8. Kurt Waefler, Celebrity Chef Judge – Instructor and Executive Chef, San Diego Culinary Institute

For the third year in a row, the 2014 Chef of the Fest Competition was judged using a blind-tasting format. Thirty-six competitors were carefully narrowed down to 10 finalists and five category winners using a graded point system. Participants were ranked based on cumulative scores considering the dish’s presentation, flavor, innovation, quality of product, and preparation in the allotted time.

The “Top 10” finishers, category winners, and People’s Choice Award winner were announced on-site Saturday, November 22 at the Grand Tasting Event at the Big Green Egg Grill Zone Demonstration Stage.

The 2014 Chef of the Fest Competition results are as follows:

1st Place Grand Prize Winner

Duvinh Ta – Jake’s Del Mar

Dry Rubbed Pork Ribs | Sambal BBQ Sauce | Watermelon Radish | Zucchini Slaw

2nd Place Winner

Todd Nash – Bub’s At The Ballpark

House-Smoked Pork Collar BLT: House-Smoked Pork Collar Bacon| Tomato Jam | Frisee | Quail Egg | Kewpie Mayo | Sweet Role

3rd Place Winner

Alex Carballo – URBN Coal Fired Pizza

Pork Rojo Street Tacos: Pork Braised in Ancho Chili Sauce | Cilantro Slaw | Avocado Crema

4th Place Winner

Chef Kappa – Bang Bang

Tuna Tartare Tacos: Crispy Wonton Shells | Garlic Ginger Ponzu | Marinated Tuna Tartare | Guacamole Espuma | Micro Cilantro

5th Place Winner

Aron Schwartz – Marina Kitchen

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup | Smoked Brisket

Honorable Mention

Tomas Baistrocchi – Avant

Uni Panna Cotta | Cauliflower | Lardo

Honorable Mention

Brandon Fortune – Kitchen 1540

Chicken n’ Dumplings

Honorable Mention

Jon Sloan / Richard Blais – Juniper & Ivy

Sunchoke Bark | Uni |Matsutake | Smoke

Honorable Mention

James Montejano – La Valencia Hotel

Seafood Trilogy: Opah Prosciutto | Seared Kajiki | Sake | Plum Sauce | Coconut Foam | Uni Crème Brulee

Honorable Mention

Abe Botello – West Coast Tavern

Pork Belly & Waffles: Bourbon Smoked Maple Syrup | Garlic Butter & Bacon

Vegetarian/Raw Category Winner

Francesca Penoncelli – BiCE Ristorante

Piava Cheese | Delicate Chestnut Honey Tempura | Tomato Jam

Meat Category Winner

Todd Nash – Bub’s At The Ballpark

House-Smoked Pork Collar BLT: House-Smoked Pork Collar Bacon| Tomato Jam | Frisee | Quail Egg | Kewpie Mayo | Sweet Role

Poultry Category Winner

Brandon Fortune – Kitchen 1540

Chicken n’ Dumplings

Seafood Category Winner

Chef Kappa – Bang Bang

Tuna Tartare Tacos: Crispy Wonton Shells | Garlic Ginger Ponzu | Marinated Tuna Tartare | Guacamole Espuma | Micro Cilantro

Dessert Category Winner

Derek Jaeger- The Cravory

Persian inspired Cookies and Cream: Saffron Vanilla Ice Cream | Ginger Oil |Honey Pistachio Cookie | Pistachio Brittle, Fleur de Sel

Cash and prizes were awarded to the Chef of the Fest competition winners, including a feature in Cooking Light magazine, a feature in Dining Out magazine, NBC 7 Winner Profile, Big Green Egg Large Grill Set, Celebrity Cruises Gift Card, Maui Jim Sunglasses, Palm Bay International Gift, American Harvest Gift Basket, Partagas Cigar Gift Set, Calphalon Cookware Set, Riedel Decanter, and a year’s supply of Yancey’s Fancy. Additional prizes were awarded for second through 10th place and People’s Choice.

This year’s wine and food festival also saw the return of the People’s Choice Award Presented by San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles. In addition to being judged by the esteemed panel of ACF and celebrity chef judges, Chef of the Fest competitors were also subject to the critiques of Grand Tasting attendees. Attendees had the opportunity to vote via text on their cell phones for their favorite Chef of the Fest dish. The Med at La Valencia Hotel Chef James Montejano took the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival’s “People’s Choice Award” title with his Seafood Trilogy, featuring Opah Prosciutto, Seared Kajiki, Sake, Plum Sauce, Coconut Foam, Uni Crème Brulee.