by Chef Kendall Huff
Native Foods Cafe
I had the privilege once again to be a judge at another Chicagoland Whole Foods Food Fight & the contestants brought their “A” game.
The three contests , all employees at the South Loop Whole Foods location, were fighting for a prized black Whole Foods Chef coat!
First chef was Jeanelle Hayner, and she rocked out a peptita crusted sweet potato fry with cilantro lime aioli. She used white miso to make the dipping sauce and it was delicious! Her dessert, was one of the the best sweets I’ve tasted in a long time. She created a Mango Coconut tart with “honeyed” Macadamias. She made the crust out of cashew and almond butter. It reminded me of my favorite Macro bar. I’m pretty sure I ate this in 1.34 minutes.
Next up is Stephen Mitsch. He works in the kitchen here at the South Loop Whole Foods.
His appetizer was a Strawberry Spring Roll. It was stuffed with red cabbage, carrots and strawberries with a red wine vinegar sauce. So good! He then made a grilled romaine and mango sushi roll. His wasabi was made with coconut milk instead of water….PLEASE do this! You’ll love it. And his dessert was a steamed Banana cake with sweet potato and raspberry puree. This screamed summer time!
And the last contestetant was Laurette Stefani.
She impressed me with every dish she put out. Her appetizer was a grilled corn and jicama salad. She added some pickled carrots that were packed with an awesome clove and coriander flavor. And she added a purple cabbage reduction! Her entrée was amazing! She called it Mextlapique Poblano. She made the juiciest seitan then wrapped it in a grilled poblano pepper. Her quinoa was cooked with coconut to perfection. Nice and fluffy! And to finish it, a rich and creamy mole sauce. My favorite dish of the night! The dessert was a Pineapple and mango custard that looked too pretty to eat…but you know I did!
... and congrats to Jeanelle for her official Whole Foods Chef Coat!