But first, the runner-up was Baltimore’s Kenneth Plante, executive chef of Red Star, who lost by a minuscule margin. There was only a 0.32 difference in the judges’ scores between Plante and the winner, Dennis Friedman, executive chef/owner of Bezu in Potomac.
“There really was no favorite,” said Karen Folkart, co-coordinator of the tournament, in an e-mail press release. “Both chefs had been consistently producing amazing top-quality dishes throughout the tournament.”
For the finale at The Belvedere in Baltimore, each chef prepared a three-course meal. Plante, pictured, made a pan-seared dorade with ginger risotto and Thai lemongrass broth, a rack of venison Robert over whipped potato with Japanese plum sauce and pan-pickled baby carrots, and a chipotle chocolate brownie, caramel and mojito chantilly.
Friedman made a crispy dorade with fresh made fettuccini, lemon soy beurre blanc; venison, bacon veal jus with a cinnamon essence; and a pineapple and ricotta sushi brûlée.
The guys received some nice parting gifts for their efforts, too. Friedman won a prize package that includes a trip to Las Vegas, a Wisconsin cheese-making experience, and an official championship jacket, plaque, and gold medal. Plante and both sous chefs received a Wisconsin cheese-making experience trip.
The 16-week competition began May 10 and wrapped up on Sept. 13. For more details on all the chefs who participated in the tournament, visit the Mason-Dixon Master Chef website.
Photo courtesy of the Mason-Dixon Master Chef website