On June 14, I finally got the opportunity to serve as a judge during the 2018 Taste of West Virginia, hosted by the American Red Cross. As a competitive chef I hardly ever get to taste my own food during events, let alone other team’s dishes, so getting to serve as a judge for this amazing event was certainly a treat for me.
Our team of five judges was tasked with tasting dishes from 24 vendors and declaring winners in the following categories: Best Savory Dish, Best Sweet Dish, Best Presentation, Most Original, and Taste of West Virginia.
And the winners were…..
Best Savory Dish: Cody’s
Best Sweet Dish: Tutto Gelato Cafe
Best Presentation: Table 9
Most Original: PeppeBroni’s Pizza
Taste of West Virginia: Bourbon Prime
People’s Choice: 1863 Grill
Joining me at the judges table was:
Mike Costello, chef & farmer, Lost Creek Farm, who was featured in May on Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anne Hart, owner & executive chef, Provence Market Cafe
Candace Nelson, food blogger and author of “The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll”
Tim Urbanic, chef & co-founder, Cafe Cimino Country Inn
As an added bonus I was also able to finally meet Vagabond Chef, Matt Welsch, who is also a member of the fictitious ‘West Virginian Chefs who have won Food Network shows’ club!
Serving as a judge was an amazing experience that has given me a unique perspective that will definitely come in handy the next time I am in a competitive kitchen.
Luckily, I won’t have to wait long before judging again as I recently signed up to serve as a judge during the 6th annual Best Chef Cook-Off, hosted by the Morgantown History Museum. The event will be held on August 2, 2018, at Lakeview Resort. For tickets or more info call 304-319-1800.