SECAUCUS, NJ — An overflow crowd, including New York City Comptroller John Liu, watched intently as three executive chefs in the New York Metropolitan area competed for the best dish. Kobe Weiner (Executive Chef Kosher Foods Fairway Markets), Ari White (Executive Chef & Owner Gemstone Catering) and Alexandre Petard (Executive Chef of Ladino Restaurant) dazzled the crowd with their beautiful presentations, under the watchful eye of one of its sponsors, the Center for Culinary Arts, headed by Jesse Blonder.
In the end it was Petard who walked away with the top honors and a prize of $1000 at the 5th Annual Chef Competition at Kosherfest. Another sponsor was Jack’s Gourmet and the sponsor of the video recording was the Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine. The chefs were each presented with a basket of secret ingredients drawn from the Mediterranean palate and given 45 minutes to prepare three portions of one course featuring the secret ingredients.
The judges from the culinary industry graded each competitors dish based on taste, creativity, and presentation. The judges included: Chef Philippe Kaemmerle, Pastry Chef, The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts; Jack Silberstein, Owner, Jack’s Gourmet Sausages; Chef Seth Warshaw, Executive Chef, ETC Steakhouse, Winner Kosherfest Culinary Competition 2011; and Paula Shoyer, Author, The Kosher Baker.
Petard, a third-generation chef, who worked with famed French restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten, also worked at upscale kosher restaurants like the now-shuttered Box Tree and Bistro Grill on Long Island. Petard, who is not Jewish, opened the Midtown Ladino Restaurant with the Spanish style of small plates (or tapas).