The Culinary Clash includes restaurant company corporate chefs and executives who team up with a ProStart student to prepare an amuse bouche and an entrée in 45 minutes using only two butane burners. Each team is required to incorporate a Coca-Cola product into their entrée, for a chance to win the “Coca-Cola champ award”.
“The Culinary Clash has always been a fun and interactive battle that is not only entertaining, but it raises money for a great cause,” CRAEF Executive Director Alycia Harshfield said. “This year was no exception. The teams brought their best effort to the battle, creating some amazing dishes, showed great team spirit while providing the crowd with an element of stiff competition.”
Competing teams and sponsors raised a total of $78,000 for CRAEF. Black Bear Diner raised the most funds through competition donation, with $4500 raised, awarding them the “Top Purse” award, a coveted title.
Dos Coyotes, a small chain of Southwestern cuisine based in Sacramento, walked away with two awards, “Best Taste” and “Best Bite” with their Bahn mini tacos. Team Karl Strauss tied for the Team Spirit award, as the entire team and many fans wore full tattoo sleeves and cheered their team on.
Returning judge Clinton Wolf (UnitedHealthcare) commented, “The food created this year was innovative, creative and very impressive. I was amazed at the quality and high caliber of competitors. It was a pleasure to judge their food!”
A full list of competing teams and award categories is below.
· Best Bite (Amuse Bouche) – Tie BJ’s and Dos Coyote
· Shoefie Award by SafeTstep: ProStart student Mary Razo-Ayon (Black Bear Diner)
· Ecolab Champ: Hard Rock Café
· Best use of Coca-Cola Product: Chart House, Peobe’s
· Kitchen Aid Commercial Equipment Champ: Specialties Restaurant Corp, The Castaway
· Golden Glove Champ (Overall best taste): Dos Coyotes
· Teamwork Champ: Red Robin
· Team Spirit Champ – Tie: Karl Strauss Brewery and Pacifica Hotels: The Belamar Hotel
· The Purse Prize (most money raised): Black Bear Diner ($4500)
Full list of teams
· BJ’s Restaurants Foundation:
· Hard Rock Café
· Black Bear Diner
· Dos Coyotes Border Café
· Specialty Restaurants Corporation
· Chart House
· Red Robin
· Pacifica Hotels - The Belmar Hotel
· Karl Strauss Brewing Company
· Yard House
About the California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation: CRAEF has awarded more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants since its inception in 1981. CRAEF works to enhance education and training programs within the hospitality industry. ProStart is a two-year program designed to prepare high school juniors and seniors for exciting careers in foodservice. CRAEF supports more than 8,500 students in 121 ProStart® programs in California high schools. Through scholarships for college and the ProStart program, CRAEF provides students with an incentive to stay in school, consider a career in the restaurant industry and have access to college.
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