So happy to be announcing the Ashland Culinary Festival 2015 Winner today and sharing my amazing time I had in Ashland with some seriously awesome talented peoples. First, the winner!
Josh Dorcak from Public House won his round to be a competing chef in the final round where he won Top Chef Ashland Culinary Festival with some of the best food I have ever tasted. His moves in the kitchen are precise and thoughtful, his food was a simple pleasure to enjoy. Congratulations, Josh. Awesome job!
Congratulations to all of the chefs that competed this year, they all did an excellent job and worked so hard to give us great dishes. It’s a tough thing to put themselves out there for us to judge their food, and I am so happy to have been a part if it again. Great job chefs!
This year we had four rounds total. The first three there is one winner, and we choose a wild card chef to participate in the final round. Skye Elder from the Brickroom won the first round, Stefano Cipollone from Belle Fiore Winery won round two, and Josh Dorcak from Public House won round three. Billy Buscher from Alchemy Restaurant & Bar was the wildcard for the final round!
This year was super close between a few of the chefs in terms of points, and it was tough to judge and coming to final decision which took much longer than I thought it would take because of the caliber of food they out out. We look at each dish, taste, taste again, and give points. Taking care not miss any detail that may take someone from one place to the next. The points system this year will determine if the chefs will be back nest year to try agin, so this year the stakes were a bit higher. It was an honor again and again to enjoy their work and food. And I look forward to seeing what they have in store for us next year! Yes, I’m totally going back to judge again!
This is my second year as a judge for the Ashland Culinary Festival and this year was a bit different from last years competition. I got my bearings last year, feet wet, so to speak. Returning this year, and being asked to come back next year already, what an humbling amazing feeling.
We added a pie class this year as well, so Saturday morning I took to the kitchen and taught a sold out class of amazing, attentive students to make some cute pies in jars with graham cracker crust for the holidays. We talked tips and tricks to all things pie! You know how much I love pie and how to make it, so naturally it went super well. I will be teaching another demo class next year, maybe we’ll tackle pastry pie dough!
And a fun special thanks to John from Cooks Kitchens! John builds these individual kitchen from scratch in Southern Oregon by hand and they become demo and competition kitchen all over the country. John names each of his kitchens and last year he said his next built kitchen would be named, Fabiola! Did her ever, and it was at the competition this year. Thank you, John, you rock!
Working with the amazing and crazy talented people at the Ashland Chamber of Commerce in the months leading up to this event makes my life in work such a delight. I have come to admire them immensely. They all work so hard to make this a joy for the attendees, chefs, and judges and each of them deserve a standing ovation for their dedication. Great amazing work each and every one of you! It is a pleasure working with them and I cannot wait for next year!