North Market GrillMasters Festival: Weekend Wrap Up Part I
Posted by cmh gourmand on June 14, 2009
The weekend began getting up at 3:30 AM to take my dad to the airport so he could legally return to Honduras and I could return to having one roommate – my delinquent dog Toby (who decided to start jumping the fence while I was in Montreal – more later).
Things picked up after a bit of sleep – the GrillMasters Festival at the North Market.
My mission – judge for the Thrilla at the Grilla. This year, it was Janel Hedgepeth from Barley’s vs. Micheal Denton from Martini’s. Both restaurants are just across the parking lot.
The competition is always good-hearted but things still get heated. There are prizes on the line as well as an award for the winner. The chef’s are cooking out of their element: outside on grills, away from their kitchens and sous chefs and they must cook and plate their wares on time – rain or shine. The king of this competition was John Skaggs – but this year he was sidelined as a judge.
There were 120 possible points from 6 judges. The winner with 99 points…..Janel. Michael had 98 points. That is close. Just about every competition I have judged has been that tight and often too close to call. These are top chef’s cooking to win – the benchmark is always high and my belly is the beneficiary.
So here I am again, writing about something you missed. I overheard a woman mention that she likes that Columbus has so many little festivals. So do I. I like getting to eat the best of the best from the best. Bystanders get to eat as well – Michael and Janel plated their entries for the crowd. These contests are fun to watch, the cuisine is the kind you will not experience at these restaurants and the cooking is competitive. It is like watching the Food Network but…..real.
I was stuffed or I would have stayed around for the next event. Steve Lawrence from CaJohn’s was doing a cooking demonstration including grilled fish tacos and Cuban sandwiches. Steve is a top notch chef. Again when the show is over…someone has to eat the leftovers. If it can’t be me, it might as well be you.