SAAGNY took a page from the Food Network to host its own Chopped event at the Le Gourmet Factory Cooking School, Englewood, NJ, on Thursday, March 9. Inner chefs were unleashed and creativity was released as knives chopped and everyone was put to work.
More than twenty attendees were divided into groups to go head to head in appetizer and main dish competitive rounds. For the appetizer round the “secret ingredient” was lime flavored Tortilla Chips. The first team led by Donna Lo Pinto prepared fresh salsa with shrimp with a crust of chips on a bed of lettuce. The second team led by Tom Rondi prepared sautéed onion, mushrooms and brussel sprouts with finely chopped chips as the sautee on the shrimp. Each one was beyond delicious but the Judge declared Tom Rondi’s team the winner of the appetizer round. All the attendees enjoyed feasting on the appetizers.
The main dish round’s mystery basket item was fig newtons. Tina Moss’s team prepared a dish with fig newton coated chicken and zucchini chips served over a butternut squash puree. Trish Glazer’s team prepared a chicken stuffed with cheese and fig newtons with roasted brussel sprouts over a butternut squash puree. These restaurant quality dishes were something you would expect at a high-end restaurant. Trish’s team pulled it out in the end and was the Main Dish winner. Again all the attendees indulged on the main dishes prepared by both teams.
Dinner was followed by a deconstructed Tiramisu prepared by Chef Gus at Le Gourmet Factory. A truly fun night was had by all.