We all know what Iron Chef Competitions are these days, right? We watch them on TV, have been able to participate in them ourselves with our friends or compete against our colleagues in corporate team building events. Well, this evening was a twist on what is an always, exciting evening of food competitions. Sponsored by Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, World Food Championships and Yummie Nation, 6 competitors created a cocktail made with Larceny Whiskey that was to be paired with BBQ dishes made by our restaurant host, Chicago q.
The participants were 5 restaurants/bars and 1 caterer that were competing in two different whiskey-pairing categories: main course and dessert. The evening began with everyone being given two tickets to be used for voting for our favorite cocktail in each category. As we wandered from table to table learning what each “artist” used to create their unique cocktail, we had the opportunity to really see how thoughtful the ingredients were in each drink. Some options were more on the traditional side and others included rosemary, mango red chili syrup, wine, black tea, lemonade or fruit. And that was for the main course cocktail! More fruit options were seen in the dessert pairings as you can imagine.
Throughout the evening, Chicago q was offering samples of their delicious dishes: Fried Green Tomatoes, BBQ Shrimp, Bacon Cheddar Hush Puppies, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Pulled Chicken Sandwich, Homemade Carrot Cake, Chocolate Mousse Pie and Espresso Brittle Ice Cream. We also had bowls of homemade potato chips and pickle slices to snack on as we sipped our cocktails.
What is always a fun part of these events is the opportunity to talk with the party-goers to get their opinions on the different beverages. My unofficial survey would suggest that women seemed to like their Larceny cocktails with a bit more sweet or fruity flavor than the men’s choices of a stronger whiskey taste. The variations ranged from an ice tea whiskey cocktail to a rosemary whiskey cocktail to a sangria whiskey cocktail to a strawberry lemonade whiskey cocktail to name just a few. While it was a difficult choice, my favorite was the Whiskey Thief Tea made by Andre Cunningham, a caterer in Chicago. Refreshing, flavorful and one I would like to have again!
With the voting over and our tickets in the banks of our choice, it is time to say good-night to Chicago q.
For those of you who are now hungry after hearing the names of the dishes we had the opportunity to try, you need to go visit Chicago q located in Chicago’s Gold Coast when you are looking for some delicious BBQ. They describe themselves as the Modern Urban BBQ experience with artisanal house-made rubs, southern quality service and a modern ambiance. Check them out at www.chicagoqrestaurant.com. And go hungry!
If you have a taste for fine quality Bourbon, you should take some time to learn about John E. Fitzgerald Larceny Bourbon Whiskey. There is quite the story about how John’s name became attached to the brand. Here are a few key product attributes you might find enticing:
- Larceny is made from 100 barrels or less, giving the Master Distillers the ability to choose those barrels that have achieved the ideal taste profile and reached peak maturity.
- Bottled at 92 proof, the smooth, mellow taste allows it to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.
- Larceny is made with wheat as the secondary grain instead of the traditional rye. Its mashbill calls for one-third more wheat than other competitors, making it a smoother and more mellow-tasting Bourbon.
For those unfamiliar with the World Food Championships, here is a brief summary for you. “The ultimate food fight. Held in downtown Las Vegas from November 12-18, the World Food Championships invites professional and amateur cooks from across the globe to duke it out for food, fame and fortune in the Kenmore Coliseum. Featuring all the heightened drama and fun associated with a fast-paced, live-fire competition, more than 400 competitors cook-off for hundreds of thousands in cash”. If you are interested in learning more, please visit their website at www.worldfoodchampionships.com
And a special thank you to Yummie Nation for creating a dynamic, online gathering place for home cooking and entertaining bloggers to share our tips, tricks and advice.