9th Annual Vitamix Challenge

9th Annual Vitamix Challenge
Congratulations to chef John Taube IV, who took this year's first prize in the 9th Annual Vitamix Challenge!

And to chef Gabe Erales, who was this year's runner-up.

Five selected finalists traveled to Brooklyn to compete at this one-of-a-kind blend-off on the Congress Main Stage on Tuesday, October 23rd. This year's Challenge featured recipes that tie into the theme of this year's Congress, Cooking with Respect. The five selected recipes reflect each chef's respect for the ingredients he or she works with every day: whether it's lemon rinds, garlic skins, stale bread, meat scarps of bruised apples from a neighbor's background. Each recipe showcases the delicious potential that by-products hold.
2018 Competitors
Pete Coenen | Cherry Circle Room | Chicago
Teddy Diggs | Coronato Pizza | Chapel Hill, NC
Gabe Erales | Dai Due Tacqueria | Austin, TX
Anna Fitting | A La Minuit | New York
John Taube IV | The NoMad LA | Los Angeles
2018 Judges
Sharon Halkovics | Vitamix Commercial | Cleveland
Kate Krader | Bloomberg| New York
George Mendes | Aldea | New York
Page Pressley | Emmer & Rye | Austin
Pichet Ong | Brothers & Sisters | Washington, D.C.
The grand prize winner received: a Vita-Prep 3, Vitamix XL, The Quiet One by Vitamix, an aerating container and a $500 American Express gift certificate. 
The runner-up received a Vita-Prep 3 and a $250 American Express gift certificate. 
All finalists receive a $500 travel stipend to compete at the 2018 StarChefs Congress.
Judges based their assessment on the visual presentation, uniqueness of equipment technique, compatibility with the StarChefs Congress theme, and the overall taste of the dish. 
Rules & Regulations
The competition is open to any working chef (restaurant, hotel, catering, banquet, etc.), both savory and pastry. Five finalists will be chosen to compete at the 2018 StarChefs Congress.
At the Congress, finalists will have one hour to prep. The finalists will then have one hour on the Main Stage to compete and present his or her dish to the judging panel. The blending portion of each recipe must take place on the Main Stage in front of the judges. Finalists will be required to bring their own ingredients
Each competitor will have access to the following equipment: Vitamix blender, stand mixers, induction burners, oven, refrigerator, and basic small wares.