Papi Tino’s Cooking Competition

Some behind the scenes shots from the competition Wednesday night.
The competition was for new chefs. Chip Singer and I were pitted against each other in a “battle Royale” as Alton Brown would say. In this case, we weren’t in Kitchen Stadium on Iron Chef, but we were in Papi Tino’s snug cooking space on East Sixth Street here in Austin.

Below: The night’s menu.

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We had about 4.5 hours to prepare 50 portions of each dish. I think it went pretty smoothly, thanks to Chef Lalo’s outstanding guidance and team. He provided help all along the way, especially with practical issues like keeping food warm during service. He made an emergency run to the store when my lentils ended up overcooked.

Chip and I both did meat-free selections for the guests, who had paid $35 a head for the three-course-plus-drinks evening, which was sponsored by Wahaka Mezcal and Vess Consulting, a local events organizer/marketing company.

Below: Chip plating like a champ.

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Below: My original plating layout.

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Below: Chef Lalo’s plating (the one we used).

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Below: Chef Lalo, me, Chef Marko from The Natural Epicurean/Balcones Springs Resort, and Chip Singer.

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I was lucky to have won by a slight margin. Now I’m going up against students from other cooking schools in Austin on September 26. Come out and show your support! I’ll be developing a new dish for that night.

Here’s an Austin Chronicle article about the evening – http://www.austinchronicle.com/blogs/food/2012-09-07/culinary-school-students-compete-at-papi-tinos/

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A Rolling Chef Gathers No Moss

Another busy week is complete. I am definitely living like a rolling stone, gathering no moss. What I am gathering is good times, a little bit of money and experience, to name a few.

Papi Tino’s New Chef Competition

I’m participating in a cooking competition for new chefs at Papi Tino’s on September 5. We had a preliminary meeting at the restaurant with a tasting of Wahaka mezcal. For more info on tickets for the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/199666736830125/

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Below: A bit rough looking, but my competition dish in the testing phase.

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Other Stuff

I went to a launch party for a new cooking app called Cooking Planit. It helps people plan and cook meals using step by step instructions.

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I’ve also been doing some marketing for Green Island Catering meals to-go. Here I am at Central Market.

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Below: Testing vegetarian paella for a personal chef gig.

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Below: Cat bonding time.

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Yesterday I helped Green Island Catering host an awesome party barge float on Lake Travis. We hosted 100 vegans and veg-curious people for a delicious plant-based buffet. I met some awesome people and we had a great time.

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Monday’s personal chef gig went exceptionally well and I’m planning for next week. I think I’m going to need to start planning a couple of weeks in advance to stay ahead of the deadlines. Also, I want to figure out how to label the food I store in the fridge. The masking tape method was effective, but not very elegant.