Kelly the Culinarian: Judging the Loco Tacos Take Down for Culinary Fight Club Chicago

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Judging the Loco Tacos Take Down for Culinary Fight Club Chicago

Nine years of blogging and a lifetime of Mexican food appreciation has finally lead me to my magnum opus: judging a taco competition in Chicago to benefit a charity. I feel like in being invited to judge this, I've arrived.

Culinary Fight Club is a national organization that hosts live cooking competitions, all aimed at raising money to provide meals to those in need. At my event, five teams of cooks were tasked with creating the craziest tacos possible.

I was super nervous for this event. I love tacos and have lots of opinions about food, but would I have the palate required to  talk about this with any intelligence?

Wine could only help. My friends from Tastings were there with a delicious secret-recipe sangria to help me out. I imbibed while the competition heated up - each chef has 45 seconds to shop the pantry, then an hour to cook. Unlike other shows were the food is presented to judges in a blind taste-test format, we knew who was making what and their backgrounds, and were able to get to know the chefs as they worked.

When my moment in the sun came, I've been assured I did not embarrass myself. I ate a great deal many delicious tacos. Take a look:

We each filled out a ballot independently and gave feedback to the chefs as we ate, then gathered in ZED451's wine cellar to deliberate. The judging was tough, but in the end we chose the duck tacos laced with duck fat prepared by chefs Jessica and Kasey. They've got a ticket to the world cooking championship, and 20 percent of the proceeds from the night went to Fight2Feed.

Thank you to Culinary Fight Club for the invite, ZED451 for the venue and the amazing chefs for all their original creations!

1 comment:

Maggie W said...

Competitive tacos?? Yaaaass! Next time you're in the city and available, I need to take you to my favorite joint in Pilsen. OORRR we can investigate places I haven't been to yet?