ANS Recap: 2016 Chefs Taste Challenge

by Ashlee Nicole

I was super excited to attend this year’s Chefs Taste Challenge. I had a great time last year and was excited to see what the new competing chefs had to offer. Let me just say that everything was so good! The chefs fused together ingredients I never thought would mesh well. And the wine? Sigh. Bonterra, the official wine sponsor of the event, has become one of my favorites. For some reason, the the servers were very generous with their pours so, by the end of the night, it became a LITuation. Check it out:


Shout out to CTC for shouting me out.

Chefs Taste ChallengeLive painting by Pappion Artistry

The Winners


Source: Instagram @chefstastechallenge

From left to right: Gold Award winner Chef Eric Cook of The American Sector (NOLA), Silver Award winner Lee Anne Wong of KH Restaurants (Honolulu, HI), and Fan Favorite Chef Henry of Henry’s Louisiana Grill (Acworth, GA).

Let me just say that these photos aren’t the greatest representation of the actual presentation. Forgive me, but it’s kinda hard juggling a dish in one hand, a glass of wine in the other and a camera. And I can’t front, I was way more interesting in pleasing my palette than being precise with photos. My bad! Next time, I’ll be sure to have my photog handy. But until then, here’s an idea of what the food was like.

Chef Lee Ann Wong – silver award
Thai Style Fried Quail w/ Hearts of Palm and Mayhaw Chili Glaze,
paired with Bonterra Cabernet & “The Roost”
Thai Style Fried Quail
Chef Nicholas Calias
Fennel Scented Amberjack – Trinity Dust, Lentil Gumbo,
Pickled Squash, Lentil Croquette, Squash Remoulade,
paired with Bonterra Chardonnay & “The Roost”
Fennel Scented Amberjack
Chef Alexa Lemley
A Fish, a Cow and an Ear of Corn Walk into a Bar,
paired with Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc & “The Roost”
A Fish, a cow and an ear of corn walk into a bar
Chef Plum
Ceviche of Black Drum w/ Pickled Shallot, Pecan Mayo, and Smoked Mango Sea Bean Salad,
paired with Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc & “The Roost”
Ceviche of Black Drum
Chef Eric Cook – gold winner
Sugarshine Glazed Gulf Shrimp and Texas Squash Cassoulet,
paired with Bonterra Chardonnay & “The Roost”
Sugarshine Glazed Gulf Shrimp and Texas Squash Cassoulet
Gator Poutine – Gator, Sweet Corn and Potatoes,
parked with Bonterra Zinfindel & “The Roost”Gator Poutine
Chef Leonardo Maurell, III
 Braised Cubed Beef, Local Polenta with Romano Cheese and Charred Peach Agrodolce,
paired with Bonterra Cabernet & “The Roost”Braised Cubed Beef, Local Polenta

Even though my photos don’t do the food justice, it was tasty. My overall fave was Chef Lee Anne Wong’s Thai Style Fried Quail w/ Hearts of Palm and Mayhaw Chili Glaze. Anything with a good, Chili Glaze can win me over any day!

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