2015 Vitamix Challenge

2015 Vitamix Challenge

 
 
 

What Is The Vitamix Challenge?

The Vitamix Challenge is a chance to flex your blending muscles and compete against other top chefs from across the country to win the Ultimate Vitamix Package for your kitchen.

For a chance to compete,  submit an original recipe  that utilizes a Vitamix blender in an innovative, creative, and—of course—delicious way. The six finalists chosen will travel to New York City to recreate this dish and compete at the 10th Annual StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress on October 27th, and will also receive a 3-day Industry Pass.

The 2015 Vitamix Challenge

The 2015 Vitamix Challenge will take place October 27th at the 10th Annual StarChefs International Chefs Congress. Finalists will travel to New York City to compete at this one-of-a-kind blend-off, creating dishes that showcase the Vitamix blender in unusual and innovative ways. This year's judges include Pastry Chef Sam Mason of OddFellows Ice Cream, Chef Alexander Smalls of Harlem Jazz Enterprises, Chef Bryan Voltaggio of VOLT, last year's winner of Vitamix Challenge Pastry Chef Courtney Weyl of Manresa, and Chef Adam Wilson of Vitamix.

Meet the Winner

Pastry Chef Kate Holowchik of Yvonne's | Boston, MA

Favorite flavor combination: Chocolate, cherry, and pistachio. Classic spumoni flavor and any variation on it.

Creative inspiration: Growing up in New Hampshire taught me to be inspired what grew seasonally, and I like using familiar ingredients and presenting them in a context that takes people out of their comfort zone—without going too crazy.

Favorite blending technique: Making and heating custards

Meet the Runner-Up

Chef Greg Garrison of Prohibition | Charleston, SC

Favorite flavor combination: Shellfish and smoked fat

Creative inspiration: The seasons

Favorite blending technique: Hydrating food additives by boiling them in the Vitamix

Meet the Competitors

Chef Janine Denetdeel of Talde Miami Beach | Miami, FL

Favorite flavor combination: Aggressive salt (from fish sauce, soy sauce, or kombu dashi) and high acid (something simple like lemon juice or using the skin of yuzu)

Creative inspiration: Giving outcast ingredients a chance to reappear to our plates

Favorite blending technique: Making a concrete solid or a persistent fiber like lemongrass into a talcum-like powder with liquid nitrogen and Vitamix

Chef Dongchan David Lee of Goggan | New York, NY

Flavor combination:  Citrus, saltiness, and richness, such as yuzu juice with wasabi and pine nut; or pork fat with lemon juice and some cayenne pepper kick!

Creative inspiration: My roots and New York City. I’m re-plating and deconstructing classic Korean foods using the best ingredients available locally.

Favorite blending technique: For marinades, purées, vinaigrettes, and coulis. Vitamix blends so evenly and finely, and helps me achieve the textures that I want.

Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli of Eating House | Miami, FL

Favorite flavor combination: Orange, vanilla, and olive oil.

Creative inspiration: The city of Miami. Its cultures and colors play a huge role in my creativity.

Favorite blending technique: Using the Vitamix, I always start of on a variable speed of 1 and then slowly intensify to 10. After switching to high speed, I blend until I have the desired consistency.

Chef Linton Romero of Flavor Hook | Dallas, TX

Favorite flavor combination: Earthy and acidic flavor profiles

Creative inspiration: Food and flavor exploration, as well as heightening familiar flavors

Favorite blending technique: Purées and fluid gels

Prizes
 

1 Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • The Ultimate Vitamix Package
    • Vita-Prep® 3
    • Vitamix® XL™
    • The Quiet One™ from Vitamix
  • A $500 American Express Gift Certificate

The Runner-up will receive:

  • Vita-Prep® 3
  • $250 American Express Gift Certificate

All 6 Finalists will receive:

  • $500 Travel Certificate/Stipend for travel to New York City
  • 3-day Industry Pass to attend the StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress
  • Vitamix rolling travel bag

General Competition Information

Terms and Conditions

Who:

The competition is open to any working chef (restaurant, hotel, catering, banquet, etc)—both savory and pastry. 

Six finalists will be chosen to compete at the International Chefs Congress.

At the International Chefs Congress:

Finalists will have access to the prep kitchens at the International Chefs Congress and will have one (1)hour to prep. Chefs will then have one (1) hour to complete and present his or her dish to the judges' panel. The blending portion of each recipe must take place at the International Chefs Congress in front of the judges.

Ingredients:

Competitors will be required to bring their own ingredients.

Equipment:

Each competitor will have access to the following equipment*:

  • Stand mixers
  • Induction burners
  • Immersion circulators
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Spice grinder
    Basic smallwares

* Contestants will share available equipment. Selected finalists will be given the exact equipment available in advance of the competition.

Judging

Judges will base their assessment on the visual presentation, uniqueness of equipment technique, and the overall taste of the dish.

Points will be awarded on a 1-10 scale (10 being the best) for each of the weighted categories:

  • Unique Vitamix application: 50%
  • Taste: 30%
  • Overall Dish Presentation: 20%
     

With support from