[Scroll to the bottom to see a full slide show of the Chef Battle]
FoodFu is fun to play at home but to celebrate the app being available in the App Store we took it out of the kitchen and into an alley with two local chefs. The cooking competition went down at the middle party in between the two showings of the Night Light Show with Shanan Kelley. The Night Light Show is a local version of Saturday Night Live with the addition of local guests, like us! Shanan interviewed us during her show and she gave away downloads of FoodFu Oprah style (don’t know what that means? click here) to everyone. The guests at the first show were super lucky because we were looking for judges for our Foodfu Chef Battle. To find the judges we selected the person who could do the best Julia Childs impression and the person who had eaten the weirdest food. The audience was being a little shy so we only had one person do a Julia Childs impression but they nailed it! And you would probably never guess what the weirdest food eaten was… a live goldfish. We didn’t see that coming!
To find the judges we selected the person who could do the best Julia Childs impression and the person who had eaten the weirdest food.
Now that we found our judges, Wade and Jason, lets get back to the alley. We had two simple stations of folding tables setup for our local chefs, Amy Wright from Sunny Yoga Kitchen and Anna Witham from The Root Cellar. The chefs were waiting as the guests from the Night Light Show flooded into the alley. I, Lisa, was the emcee for the battle and I opened up FoodFu on my iPhone and started a new game with watermelon as the featured ingredient. After I took photos of the judges and chefs I pressed the “Yes, let’s do this now” button and the battle was on! Both chefs immediately grabbed a watermelon. Amy took a large striped watermelon and Anna grabbed the solid, dark green watermelon. Both melons were from Hermiston, an area in Southern Oregon known for perfect watermelon growing conditions. As the chefs started breaking down the melons FoodFu prompted me to ask the first question to a judge. I asked Wade if he had ever judged anything before and how he was qualified to judge this battle. He responded with honesty through his PBR and said, “I’ve never judged anything before. What makes me qualified to judge this battle is that I love to eat.” I had to agree, all you need to be a good FoodFu judge is a love for food.
“Chef Amy, what dish are you known for?” She smirked and quickly responded with, “The Sunny bowl, you know, you’ve had like 300 of them.” Dang, I was busted!
Both Chef Wright and Witham brought a Vitamix to the competition. At first it looked like they were going to make similar dishes because they were both blending watermelon but it quickly became clear that their dishes were very different. While Chef Amy was slicing and marinating tuna, Chef Anna was slicing lemons and chopping herbs to create a soup base. I interrupted Amy with a FoodFu question as she was cutting perfect, small squares of watermelon, “Chef Amy, what dish are you known for?” She smirked and quickly responded with, “The Sunny bowl, you know, you’ve had like 300 of them.” Dang, I was busted! Luckily FoodFu alerted me and it was time to check-in with Chef Anna. The question for her was, “If you could compete against any Iron Chef who would it be?” Anna turned to me with concern in her eyes and paused. I held the microphone in front of her and she apologetically said, “I’ve never watched Iron Chef.” I quickly tried to recover and asked “What about Top Chef?” Chef Anna’s head continued to nod, “No.” Well, I definitely wasn’t expecting that and there was something so funny about it. This is the woman who didn’t hesitate when I asked her to compete against Amy Wright and she’s never watched a television cooking competition. We would have never known that without the FoodFu question.
The battle continued on and we watched Chef Amy use a small torch to brulee watermelon. This is a technique where sugar is hit with a flame to caramelize it. Chef Anna chopped a rainbow of fresh ingredients on her cutting board and she dipped small sticks of watermelon into a black spice mixture. Since these two are professional chefs they finished a few minutes before the time was up. Chef Amy plated a skewered watermelon tuna stack drizzled in Muscat vinegar (it looks similar to Balsamic) and a watermelon sake cocktail. Chef Anna plated rice noodles in a bowl, covered them in a watermelon broth and topped the dish with fresh herbs, a sunflower petal and a piece of watermelon dipped in spice.
You could tell this dish did not disappoint as the judges slurped the rice noodles and drank the refreshing watermelon broth. This was going to be a close battle.
After the time was up and the Chefs finished cooking they presented their dishes to judges Wade and Jason. Chef Amy described her dish first and the judges smiled in anticipation as she spoke, they were both ready to finally taste the food! They started by toasting with the Watermelon Sake cocktail and then dug into their watermelon tuna skewer. I asked both judges what they thought and they were both in agreement that the food was delicious. Next up, Chef Anna described her Tom Kha inspired watermelon soup. Tom Kha is a spicy and sour hot soup with coconut milk in Thai cuisine. You could tell this dish did not disappoint as the judges slurped the rice noodles and drank the refreshing watermelon broth. This was going to be a close battle. I handed my phone over to Jason so he could judge first. He was judging the dishes based on plating, creativity, use of the featured ingredient and taste. Once he selected his choices he handed the phone with FoodFu open to Wade so he could judge. At this point I had no idea who was going to win. I also realized how hard it must be to be a judge on shows like Iron Chef, Top Chef and Chopped because the food is usually really good. Wade handed the phone back to me and I clicked the “Show Battle Results” button in FoodFu. I was immediately shown the battle verdict and announced, “The winner of Battle Watermelon is… Chef Amy!!!!”
A Special Thank You to:
Sunny Yoga Kitchen
Sunny Yoga Kitchen, in Bend, Oregon, is a multi-functional space serving up healthy, house made food as well as heartfelt Yoga classes and community events. Sunny aims to create an environment that nurtures a community based on a well rounded approach to healthy, happy living. Sunny Yoga Kitchen has built a thriving community where you have the opportunity to strengthen your mind and body with Yoga classes and workshops while also being able to nourish yourself with freshly prepared nutritional food and creative drinks. It is a space for everyone to come together, unwind and replenish. Both the Yoga Studio and the kitchen are open 6 days a week. Their beautiful space is also available for private and community events. For more information visit www.SunnyYogaKitchen.com.
The Root Cellar
The Root Cellar creates thoughtful, hand made dishes for catered events and pop-up dinners. Owner Anna Witham’s passion for food is evident in her ability to tell a story though courses of locally sourced food. For more information visit www.therootcellarbend.com.
Casa Bay Photography took the amazing photos of the FoodFu Chef Battle. For more information visit www.CasaBayPhotography.com.