Our bailliage has had some interesting adventures at Dine-Arounds in restaurants smaller and edgier than the establishments that normally cater to the Chaîne. For our latest venture we gave a dual purpose to the event with our first local Young Chef Competition preceding the dinner. The Midwest Culinary Institute gave a perfect location with an array of kitchens and equipment at the disposal of the competitors as well as the Summit restaurant for us to present awards and have a specially prepared meal from students and faculty.
Early arrivals by guests provided opportunity to observe preparations by the final student chefs in a full day of competition. Judges included local culinary star Jean-Robert de Cavel, who presently has six venues on both sides of the Ohio River under his direction. Starting with seven participants, then three finalists, our victor Bob Whitmer is an MCI student and line cook at Western Hills Country Club and would continue to the Regional Competition in Livonia, MI. His award was presented by Cincinnati State President Dr. John Henderson and Cincinnati State Dean and Maître Hotelier Dan Cayse to the congratulations of everyone.
Wines brought in by guests showed an international mix of reds and whites with large format bottles of Bordeaux and Sonoma Zinfandel making appearances. Prepared courses included choices including Ribollita Tuscan stew, seared Hamachi, and mushroom Tagliatelle as a vegetarian option. A record crowd and many early kitchen observers made this event a grand success to become an anticipated annual event. Vive la Chaîne!
J.T. Mayer, Vice Chargé de Presse