The Cast of Chopped Awards the Best Bloody Mary in America

Show: Chopped

Brunch, that between-breakfast-and-lunch mealtime, is the perfect opportunity to enjoy both sweet and savory dishes, sometimes all in one dish. And when it comes to the perfect accompanying drink, Bloody Marys are a popular choice. At this Saturday's Chopped Best Bloody Mary Brunch at the New York City Wine and Food Festival, the judges from Chopped gathered to taste offerings from 12 finalists in Absolut's nationwide search for the best Bloody Mary. Also on hand were former competitors from the show, who presented food pairings that ran the gamut from tried-and-true brunch classics to fusion dishes.

The award of the day, chosen by the Chopped judges, went to David Wakefield of TenOak in Texas.

Chopped's Ted Allen, Scott Conant, Maneet Chauhan, Geoffrey Zakarian, Aarón Sánchez, Alex Guarnaschelli and Marc Murphy were on hand to taste each of the 12 finalists' creations and cast their votes for the judges' favorite.

Winner David Wakefield’s unique concoction called the Bloody Beaux Thai (pictured above) consisted of Absolut Cilantro vodka, mustard, Sriracha, pickle juice, Creole-style hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Bloody Mary mix, Creole seasoning and celery salt. People's choice, voted upon be attendees, went to Irene Moretti of Tavola Restaurant and Bar in Pennsylvania for her Garden Bloody Mary. Best dressed went to Marty Duffy of the Cellar Peanut Pub in Iowa for his namesake creation, The Duffy and most creative went to Melanie Glueck of Red Fish Grill in Louisiana for her Verde Mary.

To pair with all those drinks — after all, one does need some food — festivalgoers were treated to brunch bites prepared by former Chopped competitors. Chef Kyung Up Lim of Michael's restaurant created a bulgogi steak taco (pictured above), which captured Korean-Mexican fusion with toppings like a special Korean spicy sauce and pickled vegetables.

Kin Shop’s Evelyn Garcia offered attendees her BBQ Steamed Bun (pictured above) with roasted pork belly, pickled shallot and fresh herbs.

And serving a classic brunch item with a slight twist, Chef Elizabeth Falkner was there to lend a hand for fellow Chef Paulette Goto, who created a Brioche French Toast, which was stuffed with apricot preserves and served with whipped ricotta.

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