The people – and food critics – have spoken. Chef Brian Crow from Chestnut in downtown Asheville has been declared the big cheese winner at Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest.
From the article:
Chef Crow takes first place in the People’s Choice and Food Critics awards with an appetizer that highlighted Ramp Chevre from Marshall’s Three Graces Dairy placed on a rhubarb chip, with local strawberry and micro basil. He was assisted by line cook Erin Duncan, as they along with their fellow competitors displayed their appetizer that had to meet these requirements: an appetizer that had to include cheese in its recipe, a creative, edible way to get the appetizer to one’s mouth, and an herb and/or a sweet flavor.
People’s Choice voting was conducted by 100 tasters who dropped their vote into a voting box after tasting all five Cheese Tease creations. The Food Critic voting was a blind tasting based on a point system with three judges from our local food community who were sequestered during their voting. Judges this year included Stephan Pruitt from DIG Local, Mackensy Lunsford from the Asheville Citizen-Times and Kipper Schauer from Mix 96.5.
“Chef Crow’s dish was an amazing combination of flavor and texture,” Kipper shared. “He met and exceeded all expectations of the challenge. It was a tantalizing cheese forward amuse-bouche.”
The chef was humbled.
“We had a lot of fun competing at the festival and I definitely strengthened my connection with Western North Carolina cheesemakers,” says Chef Crow. “We love supporting local at Chestnut, so this was a perfect event that supports our core values.”