One thing that I love about Des Moines? It’s always surprising me. One way that it has lately, was with this new event, “Battledish: Des Moines”. On October 5th, six local chefs will be competing here in Des Moines (in conjunction with a nationwide competition of 60 chefs) to be deemed: Most Delicious, Most Creative, Best Modern, Best Cocktail, or Most Authentic.
Each chef will be presenting a dish, and a cocktail. Who votes? The foodies! How fun is that? Try the food, and vote for your favorites in each category.
Although I would have been eager to attend this event, I was surprised, and honored, when I got an email asking if I would be willing to join in as a “celebrity judge”. Of course, I was also REALLY excited.
The chefs that we’ll be sampling from:
- Mike Holman | Executive Chef Dos Rios Cantina and Tequila Lounge
Traditional, Guadalajaran recipes and with a unique, contemporary twist. This Nuovo Cocina style of authentic cuisine made with available local produce and a lounge, stocked with an extensive collection of tequila, form the soul of Dos Rios. (Source)
- John Andres | Executive Chef Bos
Hand-crafted comfort foods and contemporary Midwest twists on classic dishes. Top-notch cuisine focusing on locally grown products whenever possible. (Source)
- Joe Mcconville | Chef/Partner Gusto Pizza
A place for people to hang their hat without losing their shirt; where napkins don’t cost extra, and the high fives and belly laughs are free. But what really sets Gusto Pizza Co. apart is the heart, soul and imagination that our customers bring into our doors and that we, in turn, bring to the plate. It truly is divine. (Source)
- Jeff Deets | Executive Chef Liberty’s – An Iowa Grill
The bistro-styled restaurant serves casual American fare in a true reflection of the attributes and sustainable food sources in the Heartland. (Source)
- Sean Wilson | Executive Chef/Partner Proof
Proof pushes the envelope of Des Moines cuisine. Taking its influences from the Mediterranean and Northern Africa, Proof blends the old world with the new by using local ingredients in all of its dishes. Proof believes heavily in the experience – we want you to come and feel comfortable enough to let our staff provide you with the evening you were looking for. (Source)
- Jo Tripp | Alba
Alba offers a creative culinary twist on traditional American cuisine. Dishes are prepared using fresh seasonal ingredients, the finest cuts of meat, and the freshest fruits, vegetables and herbs. (Source)
- Sam Auen | Chef/Owner Tacopocalypse
The little taco night in a tiny town south of the Metro caught a little Twitter buzz, people started driving down from as far away as Ames, Iowa (ok, so 50 miles isn’t really that far, but it is if you are just coming down for some “bar tacos) to partake in the original Braised Pork Shoulder, Vegan Chorizo, Slaw, and hand pressed tortillas. At this time the taco night deserved a name, and through the power of Twitter (which is how I get almost everything done these days) a name was born. TACOPOCALYPSE. (Source)
Dishes are being revealed weekly up to the day of competition. I can’t even tell you who I’m more excited to sample from. Several of these places I haven’t had the pleasure of trying, but I’ve heard great things. I will say, there’s no better place to get a pizza in Des Moines than Gusto (try the Mona Lisa – simple, but divine!). I also used to frequent Proof during my days at Meredith Corporation.
There seems to be a good variety of restaurants represented, though, so I can’t wait to see what they all come up with. I can eat a lot. I hope they’re ready!
If you decide you want to join me at Battledish, they’ve extended a discount code just for my readers! Use promo code “alextriesitoutbd” at checkout for $10 off your ticket. (This is not a sponsored link – or post, for that matter – I just want to share the love!)
Have you ever judged a food competition? Any tips?