Whether you're an aspiring chef or a microwave cook, there's something exciting about watching two talented chefs go head-to-head in a fast and furious secret ingredient cook-off to determine who will create the most crowd pleasing dish in under 30 minutes!
The Bite Cooks!, hosted by 'The Chef in the Hat' Thierry Rautureau, is located on Fisher Rooftop of Seattle Center, and brings that kind of fun & excitement to a live stage featuring a selection of the Greater Seattle area's finest chefs...and a few out-of-town celebrities, aka MasterChef Winner, DJ Chef Shaun O'Neale. The Bite Cooks! Cook Off! chefs battle it out in front of a live audience, and using their passion for cooking, culinary experience, and of course the secret ingredients, are required to create an entree dish worthy of the chef being crowned the Bite Cooks! Cook-Off! Champion.
After 30 minutes of lightening-speed cooking and plating, select audience members judge each dish on flavor, presentation, and use of the secret ingredients, and, simply put, the best dish wins! Aside from being named the Bite Cooks! Cook-Off! winner, the Bite of Seattle®, on behalf of the winning chef, donates $100.00 to the charity of the winning chef's choice. With generous thanks, all cook-off's are done on a fully-equipped stage provided by Albert Lee Appliance.
Revealing the Secret Ingredients
The excited chatter of the audience builds as Chef Thierry introduces the chefs and explains the rules of the Bite Cooks! Cook-Off! Each chef stands excitedly, awaiting the reveal of the three secret ingredients, hidden in a basket in front of them. The audience counts down, 3,2,1, and the baskets are flung open to reveal ground bison, chickpeas and green beans.
Each chef has 30 minutes to create a masterpiece dish using these three ingredients, in addition to a full pantry of spices, condiments, flours and pasta's etc., and essential dairy items, plus a generous assortment of fresh produce, donated by Charlies Produce.
Jed Laprade: Beardslee Public House
Chef Jed Laprade is a native of Seattle. Having lived and worked for many years in Colorado he came home to attend South Seattle Culinary School. Jed started working at Seastar restaurant that same year. After four years at Seastar Bellevue he was opening sous chef for the new Seastar Seattle. Having ten years of experience in one of the Northwest’s premier seafood restaurants. Jed wanted to move to his true love of comfort food.
As executive chef of Beardslee Public House he is able to embrace the scratch casual food that compliments the awesome beers brewed at the restaurant. He strives to use the finest local meats and produce to make the hand made sausages, house cured charcuterie, inventive burgers, and hand tossed pizzas that are among his favorite menu items.
Shaun O'Neale: Masterchef Winner
Shaun O’Neale exploded onto the culinary scene in September 2016 when he claimed the title of America’s best home cook and was named Season 7 Champion of MasterChef on FOX. He graduated from reality star to culinary star in May 2017 with the release of his debut cookbook “My Modern American Table”. “My Modern American Table” teaches other home cooks how to recreate Shaun’s upscale, modern American dishes like his lobster ravioli and salted caramel chocolate tart.
Shaun is a self-taught chef who educated himself by reading cookbooks, studying the history of food and traveling across the globe to absorb different cultures and flavors.
3,2,1...It's a Cook-Off!
Each chef had only 30 minutes to decide on their chosen dish, and using the three mandatory secret ingredients, cook, plate and present their dish to the judges. For Chef Shaun O'Neale, this style of lightening-speed cooking is familiar territory, having competed on, and won, MasterChef, Season 7. Chef Jed Laprade, a talented chef in his own right (and first time cook-off competitor), however, remained hot on Chef Shaun's heels, much to the audience's delight: the local chef crowd favorite!
With burners alight, pots full and 'very' quick hands chopping vegetables, the chefs powered on as Chef Thierry engaged with each chef and enlightened the audience on the chef's favorite foods, motivation for becoming a chef, and of course, the most important question...what dish they were preparing for the judges.
Both Chef Jed and Chef Shaun opted to prepare an entree dish featuring a delectably seasoned bison patty. Chef Jed served his bison patty on a bed of chickpeas, green beans and an assorted vegetable garnish, while Chef Shaun created a bison and green bean patty on a chickpea puree. While the dishes were 'somewhat' similar in concept, each chef brought their own flare, passion and experience to their dish. The judges were in for a treat and had a tough decision to make - who would be named the Bite Cooks! Cook-Off! Winner?
...And the Winner Is!
Three randomly selected audience members were bestowed with the honor of being a Bite Cooks! Cook-Off! judge, and boy did their taste buds have their work cut out for them. Both Chef Jed and Chef Shaun each prepared and plated an exquisite top-notch dish (as if we'd expect anything less) incorporating the mandatory three ingredients, and then, it all came down to the judges verdict.
Which dish wowed the judges enough in flavor and presentation? Insert drum roll please...
The winner of the Bite Cooks! Cook-Off! for this round: Chef Shaun O'Neale!