From 10am till 5pm last Saturday, I experienced an unbelievable sense of non-stop adrenaline rush! I was surrounded by delicious food vendors, fellow-foodies, amazing chef demos and hopping music. It’s was the annual Blues, Views and BBQ festival in Westport and I was helping out at the CTbites chef demo tent.
With an amazing line-up of chefs scheduled to demonstrate their cooking skills and to offer free tastings of their food to the general public – this was non-stop fun! Even the sweltering heat did not ruin it for me. If you sweat – you burn off calories. And if you burn off calories – you are allowed to consume more. Am I right?!!!
It was fascinating to watch each chef in action and to discern what each of them is all about. Nicole Straight of Festivities Catering is very professional, poised and organized. She made delicious grilled chicken and veggies and she took great care in her presentation. It was important to her to make the entire table look just right – right down to her promotional material. If you ask her to cater you next party – rest assured it will be done perfectly and deliciously.
Matt Storch of Match in SONO and Chelsea in Fairfield was up next. Most of us know that his food is to die for. He has a knack of creating unique flavor profiles in his dishes, pulling inspiration from many cultures around the world. What I realized about Matt that day was that he also a perfectionist. It is important to him that the food is cooked right and then served in the most appealing of ways. After all, you eat with your eyes first! He made delicious shrimp ceviche tacos. The warm and crispy tacos coming off the grill enveloping the cool, tangy, sweet and moist ceviche was a dynamite combination.
Everyone loves Helton DaSilva of Barcelona, Fairfield. And if you don’t know him, you gotta do something about it. Vibrant personality combined with mad cooking skills make him a chef to watch out for. He demonstrated how to marinate and cook beef short ribs. Wow! What a simply prepared but amazingly flavorful dish. He brought with him four….yes! FOUR! dipping sauces to sample. There was the spicy red pepper chimichurri, the house green chimichurri, a chunky pepper and onion sauce and finally a truffle sauce.
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