Chefs for Obama Highlights, Cyclorama, Boston

Chefs for Obama, a group of 14 cooks, held a private cooking competition and tasting, at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, on the evening of January 31st. The competition was judged by Governor Duval Patrick, First Lady Diane Patrick and award-winning Chef Ming Tsai (BMH Review of Blue Ginger). Each chef had an individual table set up with their food and guests were allowed to taste as much as they please.

Ryan Fleury did an amazing job organizing the event. The event raised $135,000 and the majority of it will go towards the Democratic National Party, as well as the President’s 2012 campaign.

Jody Adams, Rialto and Trade served spiced chicken ravioli, figs and orange. Freshly made pasta surrounding tender chicken and greens were bathed in a light orange cream sauce and dressed with grated cheese and fig. Suprisingly the pieces of dried fig were not too sweet, but semi-tart.

Jamie Bissonnette, Toro and Coppa (BMH Review of Toro) served oysters escabeche using moonshell oysters from the Cape with cava and vinegar. The oyster were chilled, fresh and had a nice mouth feel from the cava.

Chris Coombs, Deuxave and DBar served seared Maine diver scallops over black quinoa, delicata squash and maple aioli. Underneath you found  a sliver of roasted pork belly and tart apple. On top, there were thin slivers of crispy lardons. The scallop was executed well and the aioli and quinoa and a great texture. This dish was aesthetically pleasing and complex with multiple layers of flavors and textures.

Evan DeLuty, Stella served slices of a quattro funghi whole wheat pizza. There were shiitake, oyster and crimini mushrooms, drizzled with white truffle oil. The various flavors from the three types of mushrooms and truffle oil were delicious.

Tiffani Faison, Sweet Cheeks (BMH review of Sweet Cheeks) served a farm salad of brussel and farro. It is similar to a dish she currently serves at her barbeque restaurant.There was raw and roasted brussel sprouts, candied chestnuts, hazelnuts, and farro. This would make a great starter.

Will Gilson, The Herb Lyceum served parsnip hummus, fried chickpeas, and crispy parsley. It was a healthy twist on a great appetizer using produce from local farms.

Gordon Hamersley, Hamersley’s Bistro was very warm and charismatic and served a fresh duck salad with wheat berries. The texture of the grain was fantastic, the duck was juicy and a classic Hamersley-style dish.

Barbara Lynch, No. 9 ParkB&G OystersStirThe Butcher ShopDrink and Sportello (BMH Review of SportelloDrinkNo. 9 Park) poured spicy tomato soup topped with a crispy grilled cheese. The soup had a nice spicy bite and the grilled cheese added a lovely crunch.

Barry Maiden, Hungry Mother served a fresh catfish taco with a collard green kimchi. The collard green kimchi was something unique we had never had before and paired wonderfully with the lightly sauteed catfish.

Seth Morrison, The Gallows (BMH Review of The Gallows) served a vegetarian delight of mushroom bordalaise on top of roasted spaghetti. It was served in a bamboo spoon. This was a comfort food type of dish that was perfect for the winter evening.

Rebecca Newell, The Beehive paid homage to her beloved grandmother by serving potato and cheese pierogies with truffled creme fraiche and housemade salmon. The pierogies were filled with the truffle scented cream, however a bit limp, but the homemade salmon was fresh and had a great flavor.

Marc Orfaly, Pigalle and Marco plated dishes of healthy mac’n’cheese made with roasted butternut squash, whole wheat pasta, gruyere cheese, greek yogurt and herbed panko breadcrumbs. The mac and cheese was quite tasty and light.

Brian Reyelt, Franklin CafeThe Citizen and Tasty Burger (BMH Review of Tasty Burger) served up a homemade s’more. The graham cracker and marshmallow were homemade and tasted wonderful drizzled with chocolate sauce. The soft marshmallow was the best part of the dessert.

Oishii (BMH Review of Oishii) served 3 pieces of sushi, Kobe beef with spinach, salmon topped with a slice of strawberry and tuna. Our favorite was the melt-in-your-mouth kobe beef. Chef Ting Wen was greeting attendees and helping add soy sauce to plates.

The participating chefs  created a cookbook featuring original recipes titled “Massachusetts Chefs for Obama.”

The winner was Chef Evan DeLuty of Stella, who will have the opportunity to meet with Mrs. Obama. Judge Ming Tsai announced the rankings were as follows:

1st: Evan DeLuty from Stella

2nd: Jody Adams from Rialto

3rd: Ting Wen from Oishii

Our tastes did not follow the judges’ exactly. We thought Chris Coombs from Deuxave, Gordon Hamersley from Hamersley’s Bistro and Ting Wen from Oishii had some of the best dishes of the night.

All leftover food from the campaign event was donated to Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a Boston-based food recovery program. The Lovin’ Spoonfuls’s team are very passionate about their work and partners with supermarkets such as Trader Joe’s to feeds about 40,000 people a day at crisis centers.

Please note we received complimentary tickets for BakingMeHungry. All opinions are our own.

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