This Wednesday, Trixie and I were lucky enough to be judges at New Hampshire Institute of Art’s Annual Battle of the Chefs! There were two teams of four representing two of NHIA’s dorms and the secret ingredient was chicken. NHIA provided all the ingredients the student chefs could possibly want; from peppers, pasta, cheese, sauces and spices! The teams had an hour to complete their dishes. They were judged equally on three categories: taste, presentation, and originality.
The first team to complete their dish was The Plaza Team. They made some of the crunchiest and juiciest chicken tenders I’ve ever had, with Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce and a regular BBQ sauce. We were so intrigued by the Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce! It was definitely a risk, but it provided such a unique level of flavor and all of the judges loved it even more than the traditional BBQ sauce! They also made delicious macaroni and cheese with red pepper flakes, three types of cheese and bacon! It was topped with scallions and breadcrumbs. They aimed to provide comfort food and every last bite was awesome!
The YMCA team finished shortly after with their dish of chicken cordon bleu! Inside the rolled chicken was crispy bacon, ham, and mozzarella and topped with spinach and breadcrumbs. All of these flavors melded perfectly together creating a unique take on a classic dish. The spinach and cheese added great notes of flavor, but the smokey bacon and juicy chicken combo was the real winner! They had a side of perfectly cooked and seasoned potatoes and spicy broccoli (I couldn’t stop eating it!) both of which perfectly complemented the chicken dish. It was a thoughtfully created meal that was executed perfectly and had us all wanting more!
In the end, the victor was the YMCA team–but it was such a hard choice to make! We had such a blast judging and of course, tasting! Both Trixie and I finished nearly everything on both plates–they were that yummy! Thanks to NHIA for having us and congratulations to both teams!