Food. Most everyone loves it, not everybody can prepare it well. In Worcester county, those restaurants that both prepare arguably the best dishes and care about promoting the art of food preparation can be found at the annual Worcesterâ€™s Best Chef competition.
This yearâ€™s competition was held at historic Mechanics Hall to an enthused crowd of both casual and serious foodies. Nearly thirty restaurants claimed their territory over two floors allowing for their chefs to prepare their signature dish to be shared to all in attendance. This yearâ€™s event was paced perfectlyâ€”especially with an exclusive VIP-hour allowing the personal attention between the chefs and attendees.
Whether supporting your favorite restaurant or looking to see what other restaurants are out there, the event provided the perfect opportunity to sample until you were uncomfortably full. While every restaurant was effective in wooing votes from the attendees, a couple restaurants stood out from their peers: voted by the judges, the Worcesterâ€™s Best Chef award was presented to Wilson Wang of BABA Sushi (runners up: Jared Calderone of Feng Asian Bistro & Hibachi and Tim Quinn of Old Sturbridge Villageâ€™s Oliver Wight Tavern). The Peopleâ€™s Choice Award was awarded to Mark Hawley of Flying Rhino (runners up: Wilson Wang of BABA Sushi and Brian Treitman of BTâ€™s Smokehouse). The WXLO Peopleâ€™s Choice Winner was Chef Christina Ernst from Via Alto. The winner of the Iron Chef competitionâ€”where selected chefs had 20-minutes to prepare a dish with pre-selected secret ingredientsâ€”went to Tim Quinn of Old Sturbridge Villageâ€™s Oliver Wight Tavern.
WorcesterScene would like to call attention to some restaurants that presented some amazing flavors and perspective. Niche Hospitalityâ€™s The Peopleâ€™s Kitchen and Bocado lived up to their reputation of exemplar detail to flavors and presentation. Perfect Game seemingly came out of nowhere with an incredible version of the Slider style burger. Kai Sushi Bar and Grilleâ€˜s combination of flavors and textures to their sushi rolls left many coming for seconds and thirds. And EVO wowed everyone with their creative choice of flavors, textures, and overall preparation of their dish.
If you were unable to attend this yearâ€™s competition, be certain that next year you plan to be part of the areaâ€™s most influential event on food culture.
Written by Luke M. Vaillancourt of WorcesterScene.com