The Corporate Chef Cook-Off
At the International Culinary Center in Campbell tonight six chefs from the world’s leading technology companies faced off, vying for Grand Prize honors in a food network style competition judged by four highly decorated food luminaries. The Corporate Chef Cook-Off, a fitting teaser for the much anticipated BITE Silicon Valley food festival happening at Levi Stadium June 5-7, epitomized BITE’s food meets technology ethos. With much flashing of cameras and canapes and free flowing wine for the scores of food journalists and industry professionals in attendance, the competition got underway.
The chefs each had 45 minutes to create a dish featuring mystery basket ingredients. They would be judged on flavor, creativity, and presentation. The five mystery basket ingredients were Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce, quail eggs, fava beans, grana padano, and hazelnut meal. We in the audience gathered in the hallway and eagerly watched behind large glass windows as chefs stationed communally in a large stainless steel kitchen sliced and diced at a frenetic pace. A green jacketed woman exclaimed that she was tweeting at Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO and apparently a big foodie. Chefs darted across the hallway periodically to grab armloads of pork tenderloin, ahi tuna, portabello mushrooms, and other delectable ingredients from the pantry and we scuttled to the sides of the hallway, trying not to get in the way of the fiercely focused chefs.
Google’s Malachi Harland won Grand Prize with his dish starring grilled Soy Vay marinated quail and pork tenderloin plated with an artistic dollop of simple fava and grana padano puree. LinkedIn’s Steven Catalano garnered 2nd place with his “version of steak and eggs” featuring Soy Vay basted hazelnut meal encrusted beef while Yahoo!’s Russell Grabe took home 3rd Place.
With Michelin stars, James Beard awards, cookbook authors, Food Network prizewinners and restaurateurs abounding in both the competition kitchen and the judging room, The Corporate Chef Cook-Off was a tantalizing forecast of BITE Silicon Valley’s 3 day food extravaganza coming up next month, June 5-7.