Chef’s Roll And PSLA Partnership

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Chef’s Roll and PSLA Partnership

On August 14, 2017, Chef Tim Hollingsworth and his team at Otium Restaurant hosted Chef’s Roll, Chef’s Plate 14 – the first regional heat of this year’s Kaaboo Rock’N Chef CompetitionProduce Services of Los Angeles was the exclusive produce sponsor and proud supporter of this Chef’s Roll event.

Here’s a quick overview of who’s behind the Chef’s Plate competition, the sponsors, and of course, the featured chefs.

Chef’s Roll – Presentation Is Everything

Chef’s Roll, the creative force behind the Chef’s Plate is a worldwide community of chefs, food writers, and other culinary professionals who have come together to elevate the culinary arts, expand opportunities, and profile the best in the business. They’re using new, innovative ways to showcase the best and brightest in the industry, and one of the ways they’re doing that is through their Chef’s Plate tournament – a head-to-head battle between two culinary pros and their teams.

Chef’s Plate is billed as “The Ultimate Traveling Culinary Competition”, and I can confirm that the night certainly lived up to the hype. From the pre-competition social hour fueled by Bitter Brothers Brewing Co. and Mira Winery to the inspired three-course meal showcased on Front of the House tableware, this event has gives a whole new perspective on the sheer talent, determination, and grit it takes to win a culinary showdown.

The prize? A coveted spot in the high-octane, winner-takes-all culinary competition held on Saturday, September 16th at KAABOO Del Mar – a three-day celebration of the local food, drinks, and chefs that make SoCal a world-class destination for food lovers. The winner of the qualifier also walked away with a custom-crafted Nora Knife and an American-made leather knife roll from Jende.

The Setting

Chef’s Roll always comes up with the perfect stage for their events, and once again they hit the mark with Otium. It’s a casual, contemporary space that encourages diners to put down their smart phones, interact with each other, and engage in a rich culinary experience.

Located right next door to The Broad Museum, Otium’s open kitchen puts food prep front and center, making it the ideal place for an event like Chef’s Plate. Of course, I couldn’t help but think that this would be a great destination for date night, pre-show drinks with friends, or weekend brunch too.

The Chefs

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The evening featured Chef Steven Papa and Chef Alexander Suastegui – two young chefs who have already built an impressive culinary portfolio.

Chef Papa is currently a student at Le Cordon Bleu in Hollywood, CA and a sous chef at Sunset Tower Hotel. He’s worked at a number of LA estabishments including Petit Trois, Katsuya LA Live, and Umamicatessen.

Chef Alexander hails from Mexico City, where she competed on Top Chef Mexico Season II. She’s worked at Pujol, Quintonil, and Colonia Roma, and she’s currently turning heads at Lucas Local, a sophisticated Mexico City eatery.

The Judges

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The list of judges for Chef’s Plate 14 included an impressive collection of industry experts, which amped up the anticipation throughout the evening.

Critiquing the competitors were:

The Food

The first course featured Del Pacifico Jumbo Shrimp, followed by a main course centered around Texas-raised beef cheeks and a desert with Callebaut Single Origin Ecuadorian Chocolate.

Both teams opted to keep the appetizer light, making the shrimp the star of the plate. Chef Alexander served up Del Pacifico Shrimp Aguachile Tatemado that was beautifully garnished with a Fresh Origins hibiscus flower, while Chef Steven’s Inasal Del Pacifico Dish popped on the FOH Tides plate.

For the main, Chef Steven prepared a succulent dish of Kaldereta beef cheeks, while Chef Alexander added a Mexican twist with Birria stewed beef cheeks served atop a bed of coriander and onion foam.

The third course included a Sans Rival meringue from Chef Steven, while Chef Alexander opted to serve up a light mouse made with Callebaut Chocolate and avocado garnished with pistachios and more Fresh Origins flowers.

Needless to say, it was a truly memorable feast, and being able to watch the culinary teams at work only added to the appeal of their creations.

And The Winner Is….

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Chef Alexander emerged the victor, winning over the judges with her fresh, innovative dishes that were perfectly plated using military-like precision by her team. Of course, it was a close battle between the two competitors, and it was clear that the judges had a tough time picking a winner. On any given day, both of these chefs could easily trade spots, but this evening belonged to Chef Alexander.

The Sponsors

An event like Chef’s Plate 14 relies on it’s sponsors, and vice-versa – as a sponsor, PSLA counts on talented chefs and culinary experts to showcase our wares. I’ve already mentioned some of the incredible sponsors above; here’s the rest of the companies that deserve a shout-out for helping to evalate the food service industry here in SoCal:

About The Author

Produce Services of Los Angeles is a proud partner and produce supplier to over 400 restaurants throughout Southern California! We carry a full line of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables along with dairy and dry goods!  Not only do we support local farmers and source local produce whenever possible, we support up and coming talent in the food community.

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