On April 11th Sunburst Trout Farms competed against Never Blue Tapas Bar and Grille from Hendersonville, NC in the WNC Chefs Challenge put on by WNC Magazine, all leading up to the Asheville Food and Wine Show in August. This is the first time Sunburst has competed in a Chef competition, but will not be the last! Each week two Chefs go head to head at Cucina 24 and battle it out with three courses each using a secret ingredient. This weeks secret ingredient was MUSHROOMS!
The First Dish to come out was a 3 cheese and mushroom cheesecake with pecan crust and smoked enoki salad with apple cider vinaigrette prosciutto crisp. (Sunburst!)
The Second Dish was a Flat bread with goat cheese, caramelized figs and garlic-seared mushroom truffles, hinted microsprout and arugula salad with balsamic reduction. (Never Blue)
The Third Dish was Italian four-cheese polenta Fricassee, forest mushrooms and rabbit topped with Morel crispies. (Never Blue)
The Fourth Dish was the Highest Rated of the Night! Cast Iron Pork Tenderloin with mushroom ragout and mushroom grits, pickled fried mushrooms and onions topped with grilled asparagus with mushroom butter. (Sunburst!)
The Fifth Dish was a Semi sweet trumpet mushroom and malbec truffle(Amazing!), lemon and oyster mushroom beignet with lemoncello vanilla bean syrup, and porcini mushrooms and white chocolate chip cookie. (Never Blue)
The Sixth and Final Dish was a Cremini mushroom ice cream, chocolate porcini mushroom almond toffee with tangerine sauce and a morel kissed shitake cookie. (Sunburst)
Now that you have seen the tantalizing meals we were served lets meet the winning team.
Our fearless leader for the night and R & D Chef Charles Hudson led the team to victory! Charles has been with Sunburst Trout since 2006 and is an invaluable addition to our family. He is in “overdrive” most of the time in the creative arena. His current projects include: production improvements for Trout Jerky and his award winning Smoked Tomato Jam, a new line of crusted fillets, and products TBD. Charles is no stranger to winning he and James Flora won first place in the Savory Category for Cupcakes For Cures 2010. He holds an AS in Culinary Technology from Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College and a BS in Physics from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. When Charles is not cooking he enjoys soccer, snow skiing, music of all types, and spending time with his daughter. He is an avid volunteer with AYSO Region 572 as a Coach, Referee and Board Member. He also volunteers his time cooking with children and has recently become involved in Chefs Move to Schools. You can follow Charles on Twitter @sunburstcharles
James Flora III is our newest Sunburst addition and we are so lucky to have him as our Kitchen Manager. James is a graduate of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s (AB Tech) Culinary Program. AB Tech’s Culinary Program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation. Before coming to Sunburst James held positions as Sous Chef and Pastry Chef. James brings toSunburst his creativity, strong attention to detail, and (lucky for us) his baking skills. He and Charles also won first place in the Savory Category for Cupcakes For Cures 2010.
Becky is the our most crucial piece of the trifecta helping to keep everything in balance! She has been with Sunburst Trout since 2004. Joining our Sunburst family with extensive experience and a culinary background, she started our value-added kitchen. Without her workhorse mentality and drive, our value-added line would not be what it is today.
We look forward to seeing everyone again on May 16th when we take on Posana. Get your tickets now before they sell out!