The Vitamix Challenge

The 2012 Vitamix Challenge took place October 2nd at the 7th Annual StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress. Six finalists traveled 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 Vitamix Challenge featured all-star judges Matt and Ted Lee, authors of Simple, Fresh, Southern; Chef Paul Qui of Austin's East Side King; Richard Blais of The Spence in Atlanta; and Vitamix President Jodi Berg.

Vitamix Challenge 2012 competitors

The 2012 Vitamix Challenge Winner:
Philip Speer of Uchi, Austin & Houston, TX

Winning Dish:
Scallop Chorizo, Fried Egg Emulsion, Corn Crumble, Chives, and Rye Crisp

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 7th Annual StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress at the Park Avenue Armory, on October 2nd, and will also receive a 3-day Industry Pass.

Chef Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa & Toro - Boston, MA Judges of the Vitamix Challenge: Restaurant and Drinks Editor Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appetit; Chef Chris Santos of Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex - New York, NY; President Jodi Berg of Vitamix; Chef Wylie Dufresne of wd~50 - New York, NY; Chef Alex Stupak of Empellón - New York, NY Chef Asbel Reyes of SideBern's Restaurant - Tampa, FL

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 travel bag

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

Terms and Conditions

Antoinette Bruno and Will Blunt of StarChefs.com with President Jodi Berg of Vitamix on the main stage award the winner of the Vitamix challenge, Chef Asbel Reyes of SideBern's Restaurant - Tampa, FL Roasted Loin of Cervena Venison, Liver Mushroom Croquette, Brussels sprouts, Woodland Mushrooms, Berries, and Vadouvan Curry Reduction by Chef Dirk Flanigan of The Gage and Henri - Chicago, IL

General Competition Information:

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

Judging:

Judges of the Vitamix Challenge: Restaurant and Drinks Editor Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appetit; Chef Chris Santos of Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex - New York, NY; President Jodi Berg of Vitamix; Chef Wylie Dufresne of wd~50 - New York, NY; Chef Alex Stupak of Empellón - New York, NY Unagi and Foie Gras Terrine with Pickled Eel, Hibiscus, and Frozen Uni Powder by Chef Seth Siegel-Gardner formerly of Kata Robata - Houston, TX

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%

This year's judges include authors Matt and Ted Lee and competition wunderkind Paul Qui.