Valley Food Fight Crowns a Winner

North Conway – The third edition of Valley Food Fight is in the books, raising more than $11,000 for the Valley Promotions Member Organizations who participated.

Held on April 12 at Fire by Wicked Fresh, 6 local chefs were supplied with 3 mystery ingredients and instructed to create Breakfast for Dinner, with a twist. The mystery ingredients, supplied by The Valley Originals and J-Town Deli, were Gluten Free White Cheddar Rice Thin Crackers, Chick Peas, and Canned Sliced Peaches.

Judge Dave Hausman noted: “All were beautiful in presentation and delicious in taste as well. The Falafel Waffle was a very clever use of chickpeas by our winner and the peach mousse from Samara was also memorable. Great job by all.”

At the end of the event, Deborah Jasien, representing M&D Playhouse, was named the winner. Her entrée was a chickpea waffle and Nashville hot chicken with pickled peach chutney and arugula. Accompanying that was a side of bacon wrapped avocado fries with white peach balsamic dressing. Finishing the meal was a peach crisp with toasted chick peas, maple oats and pecans.

When asked about her experience, Jasien said, “So much fun… All the competitors were stellar in their use of the 3 mystery ingredients! So proud to have won the competition for M & D Playhouse – thanks to the judges for their support and votes! Can you say Falafalwaffle or maybe Waffalafel?”

Samara Dupuis placed second for Journey Church.

Sara Moore, who brought the idea to Valley Promotions back in November, stated, “The bar has been raised and the chefs did an incredible job using the mystery ingredients. It’s such a fun way to raise money for the valley’s nonprofits!”, she said.

Event host and judge Daniel Rassi, agreed. “Absolutely!!! Great job to them all – it was a pleasure”.

New to the event, judge Seammus McGrath was also impressed. “What a hard job we had to pick a winner. All of the food was amazing, but the real winner here were the great charities that benefitted.”

Other Chefs and Organizations represented were Beth Carta-Dolan for Starting Point, Jared Ela for Conway Area Humane Society, Laura Slitt for Carroll County RSVP and Paige Spencer for Rozzie May Animal Alliance. In total, more than $11,000 was raised for the participating organizations. All of the participants were awarded prizes donated by local businesses.

“The 6 contestants blew away my expectations of breakfast for dinner! What’s not to love about avocado wrapped in bacon and fried chicken sandwich on a waffle made with chick peas?”, quipped Judge Matteo Lentini.

According to Valley Promotions Executive Director, Lisa DuFault, next up will be a Championship round between the top 2 chefs in each of the 3 rounds that have now occurred.

Emcee Rob Clark made the announcement at the conclusion of Tuesday’s competition. Plans are already being made for that event to take place in June. “We would love to increase the prize money for the Championship”, said DuFault, “but we need a couple of big sponsors to make that happen”.

Valley Promotions Board President and Valley Food Fight committee member, Emily Calderwood stated, “The third edition of the food fight was another fun event and a fantastic fundraiser for the 6 non-profit organizations that were represented. Our chefs are raising the bar and wowing our judges!”

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 judge, contact Valley Promotions at valleypromotions.

photo: Deborah Jasien was named winner of the 3rd installment of Valley Food Fight on Tuesday, April 12, representing M&D Playhouse. – Lisa DuFault photo

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