Chef Todisco a Winner!
Oct 22, 2013
Delish -Exploring the South Shore, One Bite at a Time
Best Chef Shakeup
How many ways can you cook broccoli? Sure, you could steam or stir-fry it. But how about turning it into a vibrant green sauce? That’s exactly what chef David Todisco did when preparing the winning dish at the second annual Best Chef Competition hosted by the Quincy Community Action Programs, Inc. on October 10th at the Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy.
As one of the judges at this unique fundraiser I was given a front row seat where I could watch as local chefs faced off in the style of popular cooking shows like “Chopped” and “Iron Chef,” and later had the delicious task of tasting their culinary creations.
Tension was running high as the chefs manned their cooking stations. Defending his title was Chef Paul Wahlberg of Alma Nove and Wahlburgers in Hingham who won the judges’ choice last year alongside Chef David Todisco of the Tavern at Quarry Hills/Granite Links in Quincy who won the people’s choice. They were joined by Chef Robert Caparella of La Scala Restaurant in Randolph, Chef Joel Hathaway of the Neighborhood Club of Quincy, and Quincy School Committee member Barbara Isola, host of QATV’s "Into the Frying Pan."
With 45 minutes on the clock, five secret ingredients were revealed. Since the fundraiser raises money for a food pantry, these ingredients were all items typified items given out at QCAP’s own Emergency Food Center, which provides food and other items to thousands of low-income residents and families each year. With a “pantry” of additional ingredients at their disposal, the chefs set to work creating the most unique dish they could imagine. In the minutes that followed, the room was filled with a flurry of activity as chefs furiously chopped and sautéed before an audience of hundreds of onlookers. The pressure was on.
When the time was up my fellow judges: Chazy Dowaliby from the Patriot Ledger, and Katherine Hesse, founding partner of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, and I tasted each chef’s dish and ranked them from 1-10 according to taste, plating, and creative use of ingredients. Chef David Todisco’s delicious dish scored high in each category (here’s where the blended broccoli sauce comes in) and when the votes were tallied he took home the judge’s choice for Best Chef. Todisco must have been on his game that night because he also won the people’s choice competition.
Win or lose, everyone could feel good knowing that the event would help raise money for an important cause. The event raised nearly $110,000 for QCAP, which provides clients with monthly food orders, comprised of food and other household items from the Greater Boston Food Bank, local grocers, and private donors. The recipes created at the event will be shared with the Food Center clients. For more information on QCAP, click here.