Mount Washington Valley's Premiere Non-Profit Network
Valley Food Fight – Round 3 Crowns a Winner
North Conway – Round three of Season 3 of Valley Food Fight is in the books, raising nearly $4000 for the Valley Promotions Member Organizations who participated.
Held on September 12 at Wicked Fresh Craft Burgers, 9 local chefs, representing 7 non-profits, were supplied with 3 mystery ingredients and instructed to create a 3-part meal, with a twist; “Comfort Foods”. Reigning Valley Ms., Barbara Theriault, served as emcee for the event, with prizes awarded by 2023 Miss Mount Washington Valley Teen second Runner-Up, Brena Sheehan. The mystery ingredients, supplied by The Valley Originals and J-Town Deli, were whole pepperoncini, bean sprouts and yellow corn tortillas.
At the end of the event, Jason Stevens was named the winner on behalf of White Mountains Pride. Stevens, who owns Smokin’ J’s Wicked BBQ food truck, went in a completely vegetarian direction with this challenge. Thrilled with his victory, he laughed, “After a long, hard three battles I finally take down a Valley Food Fight”. On a more serious note, he stated, “I’m so happy that I could be a part of this event again and help raise money for our wonderful community. It’s always a blast - great people and the creative dishes that all our chefs make up are truly incredible. It’s an honor to cook and compete with them”.
His entrée was a vegetarian lasagna, made with corn tortillas as the noodles, bean sprouts, peppers, mushrooms and onions, mixed with cream cheese and spinach. Stevens paired this with a corn muffin filled with pepper cheese and topped with bean sprouts. The muffin was made from the corn tortillas milled into meal and used for the batter. To complete the meal, the dessert was a vanilla pudding which he made using the bean sprouts like a tapioca pudding, topped with a churro style corn tortilla.
Judge Dave Hausman said, “Possibly the best overall competition ever. The top 3 all received first place votes in the judges meeting. Ultimately it came down to use of the mystery ingredients as the deciding factor.”
Sara Moore, a co-creator of the local event agreed. “All of the chefs were fantastic and I love that this is such a fun way to raise money for valley non-profits. Between the sweet and savory dishes every chef presented some unique and tasty meals!”.
Joseph’s Spaghetti Shed owner, Beth Carta-Dolan, placed second for Starting Point. She created a chicken pad Thai casserole; pepperoncini stuffed with cream cheese, green onion, red pepper, and bacon in a charcuterie cup... and apple pie taquitos topped with warm apple filling, whipped cream, and caramel sauce. Her take on the experience was “I was blown away by how creative people were with the mystery ingredients... Everyone brought their A game!”.
Judge Daniel Rassi enthusiastically stated, “Great showing of culinary talent! Everyone really brought their A game. Unfortunately, there can be only one winner and he had the best use of the mystery ingredients. But in reality, the charities are the winners tonight!
Clay Groves also served as a judge. He stated, “As always it was a ton of fun. The food was great and more importantly seeing how much the chefs love their non-profits is Inspiring.”.
Other Chefs and Organizations represented were Sandra Abbott and William Chatman for United Bikers of NH on Behalf of Jen’s Friends, Isabelle Frechette and Andrew Fournier for Arts In Motion Theater Company, Jason Fougere for the Kennett High School Dance Team, Dan Lavigne for Vaughan Community Services and Jeffrey Naro for Bartlett Rec - BARA.
Sara Moore, who brought the original idea to Valley Promotions, was unable to judge this round but sent a message, “The beach is lovely and I’m grateful to Matteo for judging!”.
The final judge was Seammus McGrath, who echoed the sentiment of the day… “The true winners are the charities that these chefs compete for”.
According to Valley Promotions Executive Director, Lisa DuFault, Stevens and Carta-Dolan will join round 1 winners Nancy Clark and Cheryl Emerson and round 2 winners Kevin Taylor and the duo of Mackenzie Hester and Frank Thompson in October for the Championship round, hoping to win even more funds for their organizations. The Championship round will take place on October 24 with an “International” theme.
Watch for the program to air on Valley Vision Channel 3 and on Facebook soon. If you are interested in participating in a future version, as a chef or a sponsor, contact Valley Promotions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valley Promotions PO Box 44 Bartlett, NH 03812 (603)374-6241