John DePierro, a chef with Gastamo Group in Denver, won the Chef’s Kiss Recipe Challenge competition held on Monday for his dish of ras el hanout roasted pork loin with squash mole, grilled butternut squash and guajillo demiglace.
DePierro had to use the ingredients provided by Chairman’s Reserve® Meats, including its bone-in pork loin, the North African spice blend ras el hanout and butternut squash.
To make the dish he brined the loin in a simple salt brine for 24 hours and then rubbed it in the spice blend. He pan-seared it to brown it and then roasted it and served it over a mole of butternut squash cooked with fennel, onion, plantain, poblano peppers, coriander, red wine vinegar and salt. He poured a guajillo chile demiglace over it and accompanied it with grilled delicata squash dressed in olive oil, lemon juice and Maldon finishing salt.
DePierro said the dish was inspired by the coastal cuisine of Baja California as served at Lady Nomada, one of the Gastamo Group’s restaurants. The company also operates Park Burger, Homegrown Tap & Dough, Perdura, Birdcall and Park & Co.
Chairman’s Reserve® Meats awarded DePierro a $5,000 prize which he awarded to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry hunger relief program.
DePierro was competing against three other Denver chefs: Greg DeFlorio of Clayton Members Club and Hotel, David Hadley of the virtual Samosa Shop brand and Alec Bruno of French 75, a Bonanno Concept.
The competition was judged by Stacey Ballis, president of the Chicago chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier, Guy Meilke, chef of Heritage Restaurant in Chicago, and Restaurant Hospitality senior food & beverage editor Bret Thorn. However the audience members who attended the live webinar gave the viewer’s choice award to DeFlorio for his porchetta with broccoli raab pesto.
DeFlorio, who won $2,500 that also went to No Kid Hungry, was given the Chairman’s Reserve® pork tenderloin, chipotle peppers and broccoli raab.
He butterflied the loin and rubbed it with salt, pepper, powdered chipotle pepper, roasted garlic and oregano and then spread it with a pesto he made with the broccoli raab, roasted garlic, olive oil and Parmesan cheese. He rolled that into a roulade wrapped it in bacon and then cooked it in sous-vide to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and then finished it in a skillet to render the bacon fat.
If you missed the live Chef’s Kiss Recipe Challenge you can still watch it on demand, and also download the recipes at create.nrn.com/chefskiss/.