Rooftop Chopped Brought the Competition Even Closer to Fans at the New York City Wine & Food Festival
At Rooftop Chopped, a brand-new event for the New York City Wine & Food Festival, fans of Food Network's long-running competition cooking show were treated to a special experience: an insider's look at the show. Following the format of the show, participating chefs, among them former Chopped competitors, cooked their choice of either appetizer, entree or dessert, and the eventgoers had the chance to taste and vote on their favorite dishes from among 30 in total. And of course the cast of judges and host Ted Allen were on hand to try the dishes and present the awards for both their judges' pick and the people's choice.
"We are taking our participation in the Festival to a completely higher level," said Ted of the highly anticipated event. "I am excited for the food, for the competition. It's like Chopped Live," he said of the new format. And this time Ted had the chance to taste the dishes — something he doesn't get to do on the show. While the festivities were going on, fans could also audition. "We've never done an event where people could come and apply to be on the show," Ted said of the unique opportunity. "It's like they're participating in a live, large-scale version of our competition."
Judges' choice went to Chef Mario Hernandez (of Black Ant Restaurant) for his Lechon en Chichilo Negro de Chapulin, a pressed suckling pig with burnt chile grasshopper mole, crispy corn dumpling, chayote and pickled chiles.
The addition of chicharron and a garnish of grasshoppers sure made this dish feel like it was created from a mystery basket. Just like on Chopped, the winner left with a $10,000 check.
People's choice went to Chef Stephen Yen (of The Ainsworth) for his Honey-Glazed Berkshire Pork, which featured a char siu-style roasted pork glazed with honey and served over spice-roasted pineapple and quinoa.
Chef Yen (pictured above) accepted the symbolic Chopped cleaver and an all-expenses-paid trip to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
Norfolk Kitchen Lab's smoked pulled pork shooters with plum barbecue sauce on herb buttered pita chips was a favorite sweet and savory appetizer bite that included pops of juicy corn.
Eric Cope from Tessa served a melt-in-your-mouth braised Berkshire pork cheek with maitake mushrooms, daikon radish, and dried and pickled apricot over shishito polenta.
Another unique entree came from Chef Alan V. Bacchiochi (of The Archer). His venison and collard green crepinette, with bourbon cherry bordelaise sauce, was served on top of a squash and potato mash.
A favorite dessert came from Chef Nicole Votano (of Dirt). Her orange-scented chocolate pound cake was garnished with tahini creme fraiche, caramelized butternut squash, tarragon and brown-butter sesame brittle.
Chocolatier Jacques Torres (pictured above) served up bowls of comforting rum raisin ice cream, each with an oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookie.
More from the 2016 New York City Wine & Food Festival:
- The 10 Most-Comforting Fall Flavors We Tasted at Katie and Marcela’s Harvest Party
- The 7 Best Things We Ate at Anne’s Aperitivo! Event at the New York City Wine & Food Festival
- Burger Bash 2016 Winners: David’s Cafe and Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer
- The 9 Best Bites from Giada’s Ultimate Italian Dinner at the New York City Wine & Food Festival
- Everything We Couldn’t Get Enough of at Chelsea Market Live
- Tacos & Tequila: “The People’s Food”
Photos by Joseph Erdos and Meaghan Cameron; Lead photo courtesy of Getty Images for NYCWFF.