Worcester’s Best Chef Competition from a Chef RD Perspective

Yes I’m a Registered Dietitian, but more importantly I consider myself a foodie.  Please don’t mistake “foodie” for “food snob;” sure I enjoy a fancy night out with a multi-course meal and wine pairings, however I equally relish a good ol’ bag of soft and chewy Sour Patch Kids while watching judge shows in my pajamas.  *NOTE* Of course the previously mentioned behavior is done in moderation 🙂  With this being said, I was quite excited when I had the opportunity to purchase tickets for myself and my better half to attend Worcester’s Best Chef Competition this past Sunday.  Thirty local restaurants set up stations showcasing their talents through small plates so that attendees could sample the dishes presented and vote for a favorite to win the People’s Choice Award.

I loved the concept:  tastes of a wide variety of cuisines and flavor profiles, ranging from smoked beef brisket garnished with pickled cabbage atop grits with a red onion gravy to pumpkin ravioli with fried sage.  Savory by far outnumbered sweet at this soiree, which was slightly disappointing since the one true dessert (aside from the two fresh fruit and fondue stations) was bland.

The dietitian in me was a big fan of the concept of “mini portions,” similar to tapas served at Spanish restaurants.  I think this presentation style is a great way for people to taste various dishes in a sensible, portion controlled fashion.  Sharing and sampling with a table of friends is additonally beneficial because it eliminates the excesses typically found in “single serve” entrees nowadays, which can lead to overeating. 

The “chef” part of me was a little more critical regarding the preparation details of some of the dishes.  Maybe I’ve been watching too much Top Chef or my Culinary Arts education was getting the best of me, but I found myself commenting about the need for uniform cuts and how apples should’ve been peeled so that patrons weren’t chomping away on apple skin.  I know that Tom and Padma would agree with me too!

Overall, we had a lot of fun walking around, trying different foods and interacting with the chefs.  Plus, we were happy that the dish we voted for won Best Chef!

Click here to visit the official website for Worcester’s Best Chef Competition.

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