A couple months ago, I was stoked to be asked to judge a cooking competition called The Sioux Chef Challenge, a Diversity Kiwanis Club of Sioux Falls fundraiser. I mean, I do love to eat! And those that know me know I’m certainly not short of opinionated or verbose. So I said yes.
The event was last night, and I was a bit taken aback. First, it was WAY bigger and nicer than I expected. It was a first-year event, but was well attended (couple hundred people easy), classy and full of good food. Ten chefs from around the area competed, in either appetizer, entree or dessert, all under the umbrella of “fusion” cooking. It is a diversity group after all!
From pheasant with curried potatoes, to Banh Mi sandwiches two ways, sweet/savory, spice…there was a lot to take in.
My favorite, and this is weird for me, was the Dessert Burger from Lance White from the Buffalo Ridge Resort in Gary, SD.
A light, fluffy doughnut bun with a chocolate mousse patty, a mango gelatin slice for cheese, strawberry and kiwi for tomato/lettuce and a whipped butter cream dollop for mayo.
It was SO good! My favorite thing about it was how actually light it was. The chocolate was slightly bitter, and the dish was refreshing more than it was sweet while still giving you that chocolate punch.
Loved it. And so did the other judges: it won best dessert.
Other winners included Daniel Myers (no relation) from Crawford’s for his Ribeye Cafe dish which took best entree and best use of fusion; Yancy Erickson of the Sioux Falls Convention Center won the people’s choice award for his thermidore crab gratin and best presentation from the judges; and Sanaa Abourezk won best appetizer for her eggplant nest.
Yes, this post is a bit of a humblebrag, but I wanted to share it and get this event on your radar for next year. It was fun and a good eat.
Oh. And sorry for the blurry photo of the burger. I was clearly in a rush to continue eating and didn’t spend due diligence!
Side note: I’m going ahead and counting this as a “sandwich” for my official National Sandwich Month count. Just saying.