Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Hot Rocks Griller Challenge


 So a little while back I was wrapping up with a late night snack attack at Elway's CC with a few friends, and I couldn't help but notice the star-studded roster on the wall for the Hot Rocks Griller Challenge coming up. I was being beckoned- and I knew it was an event that my stomach had to be at. Thankfully where he goes, I go. We waited patiently, until a few weeks ago the night finally came.

In a grand evening benefitting the Denver Health Foundation's mens programs, the "ultimate summer man party" boasted great weather, live music by Opie Gone Bad, and of course 16 of Denver's greatest chefs in an outdoor "sliders and sides" cookoff.


 As each competing chef cooked up a storm to present the best plate possible, guests purchased chips to vote for their favorite dish of the evening.


Troy Guard's cashola above sent him home with the crown for the second year in a row, after having served a fantastic Kangaroo Slider with piquillo pepper remoulade and a side of miso-accented string beans.

I will never think of corn-on-the-cob the same, thanks to Sean Yontz (Sketch, El Diablo). Dressed with ancho mayo and sal de gusano. You might want to google that.
 
Goose Sorensen (Solera) served up a tangy buffalo slider with chorizo aioli and Jumping Good Goat Dairy cheddar cheese.

Chef Robert Bogart of Elway's Ritz Carlton tugged on the heart strings for me, serving chicken and waffles with a side of baked beans.

Paul Reilly from Encore took home 2nd place with North African Lamb Sausage,  harissa & cilantro-cucumber yogurt. This one had a nice, mellow spice and complex flavor profile.

Team Biederman and Selby pumped out Steuben's Lobster Rolls until they were steaming red themselves. I ate more than one... shhhh.
 
One of the Steuben's Lobster Rolls, going...going...gone.

Max Mackissock's offering- highlighted with fine salumi
In the end, it was a casual night with a happy-go-lucky sort of feel... and of course, excellent food. With so many Denver chefs uniting for a great cause, the Hot Rocks Challenge is an event that I personally suggest you attend next time around. Besides, I expect that as the competition heats up next year and everyone else vows to take down Troy Guard, the grub will be even more top notch. I'll be back for sure.

Dish It Up!

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