I love to cook. I love good food. I even love to read cookbooks. Yes, I admit it, I am a foodie.
So as a foodie, how did I spend this past Saturday morning? I went down to Cathedral Square Park in the East Town area of Milwaukee for the East Town Market and the Battle of the Chefs.
Lining the perimeter of Cathedral Square Park, a wide array of vendors sell everything from farmers market staples such as fruits, vegetables, and flowers, while others sell jewelry, dog treats, and buffalo meat. Even Sharp Brothers, the Whitefish Bay knife sharpening gurus are there to make sure that your knives are sharp enough to cut through the hardiest of vegetables.
For us foodies, the Battle of the Chefs is as close as we will get to watching a live version of Bravo TV’s Top Chef or the Food Network’s Iron Chef. This local competition is comprised of four rounds of four chefs with the winner of each round moving onto the final battle. The winner of the final round is honored with the title of being the best chef in East Town.
The competition begins with the host, John McGivern, announcing to the chefs what the secret ingredients will be for that particular round of competition. This past Saturday those secret ingredients were duck, honey, jicama, and kiwi. The chefs and their sous chefs then have fifteen minutes to spend their given stipend in the market to buy whatever else they need to create their culinary masterpieces. Forty-five minutes later these culinary creations are presented to a panel of four judges for tasting, after which a winner is announced.
This got me thinking, what if the North Shore had a culinary contest among its best chefs. Who would slice out the competition and whose thoughts of being the North Shore’s best chef would be charred? With wonderful restaurants in our community, it would be hard to choose not only the competitors but also the winner. Chefs from Jack Pandl’s in Whitefish Bay, Devon and Ovations in Glendale, the North Shore Bistro in Fox Point, and the Riversite in Mequon would all be deserving participants.
The Town Square at Bayshore Town Center would be a perfect venue for such an event. It offers plenty of space for the chefs and spectators, as well as nearby shopping at Trader Joe’s.
The sounds of sizzling food, the sights of the culinary masterpieces coming to life, and the aromas of fragrant herbs permeating the air, what a wonderful way to spend a sunny summer Saturday morning. Okay, I know that not everyone would enjoy this type of event but for us foodies, this would be the icing on the cake.
Chefs, think about it. Maybe you’ll be the North Shore’s best chef. The timer is ticking away and believe it or not, next June will be here sooner than you think. So let’s whip up some support and get this idea cooking.
If you go: The fourth round of the East Town Battle of the Chefs will be held on August 23rd and the final round of competition with the winner being named will be on September 6th. The battles begin at 10:30am.