The Artisan Cup & Fork competition and fundraiser was a huge success, especially for an inaugural event. It was a great opportunity for College Chefs to network with local farmers, brewers and chefs. “Scott and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting our brewing partners at Rolling Meadows Brewery and touring their farm. It is a very beautiful place along the banks of the Sangamon River, north of Springfield, IL, and they make some truly delicious beer. We also enjoyed hanging out with our pork supplier Stan Schutte on multiple occasions, as he has quite the personality! The days leading up to the event were also a great time for Scott, Justin and I, as we were able to hang out in the kitchen and play with some awesome food, which we rarely get to do together,” said Director of Operations, Chef Jared Bost.
Chef Scott Bachman, Assistant to the Director of Operations, explained that though there were a number of obstacles with the first time event, in typical College Chefs fashion, they made it work and had a really good time. “Dealing with the unknown is what we do on a daily basis, we’re well versed in rolling with the punches and solving everything from minor issues to big problems.” Jared expanded, “There were definitely challenges we experienced preparing for the event that I'm sure all of the chefs and suppliers dealt with, though as usual in the food and beverage industry it all faded into the background when it was finally show time.”
“Our team did a phenomenal job of pulling together and putting out some kick ass food, and I was very proud of our final product. We were in the company of some very talented chefs and artisans, and to be honest, I was surprised at the level of competition we encountered in Central Illinois. The Land Connection, who supports local farmers in the area, is a blossoming organization that I think all of the chefs involved were proud to support, and we're grateful to have forged a solid relationship with such a progressive organization,” Jared explained.
He continued saying, “The atmosphere in the room that night was outstanding. Interacting directly with those you're feeding is very rewarding for a chef.” Scott said this was the most enjoyable part of the competition, “to talk to folds that came up to try our dishes, getting to brag about the local elements of it, and explain what we did and why we did it.” “It's really the essence of what dining is supposed to be all about,” Jared carried on, “It's a social activity that most of us these days dismiss as a daily chore, and events like the ACF give people a chance to reconnect with each other, as well as the land and resources around them in a way that is completely natural, albeit rare. You could really feel that the participants were passionate about great food, quality ingredients, and a good brew. It was a pleasure to be involved on behalf of College Chefs!”
Here is an overview shot of the event:
Jared Bost puts some finishing touches on the dishes.
Its all smiles as Chef Scott Bachman and Regional Director Chef Justin Ellingwood prepare for the event.
Close ups of the dishes served