Beat The Chef competition at ICE

Beat The Chef: ICE Student and Chef-Instructor Battle in the Kitchen

The match got heated, but ultimately the vote was unanimous.

Do you think you have what it takes to beat the chef? In a competition show-style battle royale, Chef-Instructor Joshua Resnick and Culinary Arts student Parker Elliott went head-to-head to find out.

In the demo kitchen of ICE’s New York campus, Lead Chef and Operations Manager Joshua Resnick and Culinary Arts student Parker Elliott were tasked with creating a unique entrée of their choice from a selection of mystery ingredients to wow the judges in front of a live audience. The contestants had only 45 minutes to bring their vision to life before time ran out.

ICE Chairman and CEO, Rick Smilow, and Dean of Student Affairs, Lorne Feldman, joined as the expert taste-testers to crown the winner of the heated match. The two were subject to a blind tasting to eliminate any potential bias between the contestants. 

Chef Joshua chose chicken livers as the center of his dish. “Coming from a Jewish household, I’ve been eating chicken liver since I was too young to remember,” Joshua joked on why he chose it over the other protein options, which included flank steak and shrimp. 

Chicken liver and marinated flank steak
Parker's marinated flank steak (left) and Chef Joshua's chicken liver (right)

To reimagine a childhood staple, Chef Joshua seasoned the chicken liver with garam masala, which features a medley of spices including cardamom, clove, cinnamon, cumin and fennel seeds. 

Amping up the flavor, Chef Joshua made a miso pan sauce, which he deglazed with chicken stock and finished with a dash of balsamic vinegar. To balance the richness of the dish, he also made a panzanella with garlic croutons, pea shoots and an orange-balsamic vinaigrette. 

Culinary Arts student, Parker, served a citrus-soy marinated flank steak paired with a parsnip purée and a classic red wine pan sauce. Chef Lorne described the root vegetable purée as “very complex.” Meanwhile, Rick added, “as far as whose restaurant I’m going to invest in, it’s you,” as he pointed to Parker. 

Rick Smilow and Lorne Feldman judging food at ICE
Rick Smilow (left) and Lorne Feldman (right) judging the competition

“I would have liked a little more firmness to it; the parsnips were a bit softer,” Parker noted as he reflected on his purée. Though both contestants brought their A-game, only one could walk away victorious from this Beat the Chef competition. Ultimately the vote was unanimous in favor of dish “A” created by Chef Joshua. 

Despite the loss, Parker’s tremendous efforts were undeniable. We can only hope for a redemption match in the near future!

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