Thirty-six folks from ages 10 to 80 selected Dan Nosek of Maryland Golf and Country Clubs as AAUW’s Food Fight Chef of the Year recently at the Vandiver Inn in Havre de Grace. His appetizer of apple-wood smoked salmon poke and main course of cheesebread crusted salmon, sweet potato puree, asparagus and mushroom salad with crispy leeks and nutella balsamic glaze was made from the secret ingredients along with a small pantry. Dan stated that, “It was definitely great to meet and see different chefs in the county. It was a ton of fun and an adrenaline rush while having to stay focused.”
Private Chef Timothy Weinhold, Mark Littleton of Bushmill Tavern and Nosek opened their secret boxes at precisely 6:30 that evening and were given just 60 minutes to prepare the appetizer and main course. They were then scored on presentation, originality and taste.
The judges’ reactions to the evening were as varied as the chefs’ dishes.Cindy Stewart decided after her Food Fight experience that she could be a “career food judge”. Jodi Youll of Coffee News was there with some of the members of her “Fabulous Foodies” group. Next year she plans to bring them all. Helen Schaich said that she likes to support the community while Travis Pocta appreciated the commentaries of Chef Alaina Pippitt and HCC Professor Wayne Hepler. Bridget Horner, who was married at the Vandiver said, “It is so nice to see these chefs in a different and challenging situation”.
Spectators added to the excitement of the evening with several families in attendance also. 11 week old Addison was there to cheer on her Uncle Dan. Spectator Mary Davis, visiting from Lewiston, Maine said, “The facilities, atmosphere and AAUW ladies were all wonderful. I think Maine should have a Food Fight!”
The Vandiver Inn prepared food for purchase for the spectators which included the secret ingredients. Matthew was really enjoying their brownie although he and his sister Reese said their favorite foods were P&J sandwiches, pizza, chicken nuggets and hot dogs.
Sponsors of the event were Wegmans, Aimee O’Neill & Co., Inc., Jodi Davis of the Kelly Group, Terri Wainwright, Harford Appliance Repair Service, Inc., Alaina’s Gourmet Creations, Madaco Marketing & Coffee News, Certified Automotive and Tire, Hazel Hopkins, Flavor Cupcakery, Susquehanna Heating and Air Conditioning, Jarrettsville Creamery & Deli and South Main Salon. Generous donors for the raffle basket included Debbie Erhardt, Angles Hair Team, Vandiver Inn, Timothy Weinhold, Bushmill Tavern, McShane’s Restaurant and numerous AAUW members.
The event’s proceeds will support scholarships for women.