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Chefs aim to be top dog in ballpark challenge

2 min read

Restaurant and Foodservice

This post was written by SmartBrief’s Doris Nhan.

There’s no substitution for hot dogs and french fries at a baseball game, but this week on “Top Chef D.C.,” contestants were asked to maintain their culinary finesse while staying true to good old-fashioned eats essential to America’s favorite pastime.

The scene: Contestants worked as a team in two concession stands at the Washington Nationals Park. They needed to take orders, cook and serve six ballpark-appropriate dishes to be tasted by more than 150 baseball fans and even a few Nationals players.

Staying chilled in the heat: With only six contestants left, tensions flared as egos clashed in cramped quarters. To survive the chaotic service, it was essential that cheftestants stayed cool and worked within an organized system.

Location, location, location: Fan favorites included the Italian Meatball Sub created by Tiffany Derry of Go Fish Ocean Club, and the Open-Faced Crabcake BLT by Kelly Liken of Restaurant Kelly Liken. Considering the region, it’s no wonder that crabs and subs were the first to go.

Judges picked Ed Cotton of Plein Sud as their favorite for Shrimp and Corn Risotto Fritters, which they applauded as delicious and easy to eat in the baseball stands.

Striking out. Judges, including guest judge Rick Moonen, slammed contestant Amanda Baumgarten of Water Grill for her Yellowfin Tuna Tartare. After being prepped the night before, the rare tuna began to oxidize after prolonged air exposure and turned an unappetizing gray. It’s just another reminder for chefs to take risks with good food, but always be mindful of unpredictable environments.

Have you tried any upscale stadium food? Tell us more and leave a comment.

Image credit, Sean_Warren, via iStock