Are you ready for a FOOD FIGHT!

It’s time for the biggest fight of the year, Are you ready to cheer on your favorite Chef at CULINARY FIGHT FEST on Sunday, August 13th from 11-3pm.  This years FIGHT FEST is going to be at the Hard Rock Cafe located at 63 W Ontario St Chicago, Illinois 60654. 

 Past Culinary Fight Club Competitors and Winners are invited to share their signature Bite on August 13. It’s up to you to choose who will be the Top 4 Best Bites that will continue on compete in the Ultimate Battle to win the Culinary Fight Fest Regional Champion Trophy. 

Get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-chicago-culinary-fight-fest-tickets-31272830879

 

Meet The Chefs

 
 
Here’s how that works. Attendees receive 4 chips to vote for their Fave Bites. The Top 4 overall Fave Bites will throw down in a CFF Choice 30-minute Battle.

Learn More About Culinary Fight Club Here

Meet The Mediterranean at Olive Garden

Our Tastes of the Mediterranean  

When a friend of mine invited me to the #MeetTheMedi VR dining experience with her, I was like totally YES! I love Olive Garden. I mean I LOVE their bread sticks! And I had no idea Olive Garden had a section of the menu featuring entrees that have 600 calories or less. 

We arrived at the station gathered our tickets and sipped champagne before heading to the platform for our train to the Mediterranean as we waited we mingled with the fellow passengers while sipping our Green Apple Moscato Sangria. The train conductor shouted out the train had arrived. We boarded the train to begin our trip to #MeetTheMedi We dined in a train car with video screens and sounds mimicking a train trip across the Italian country side.

 

We’re ready to board! #meetthemedi #olivegarden

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The Dishes

WELL OF COURSE WE HAD SALAD 

SALAD

CHICKEN MARGHERITA – Grilled chicken breasts topped with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil pesto and a lemon garlic sauce. Served with parmesan crusted zucchini.

CHICKEN MARGHERITA

SHRIMP SCAMPI – Shrimp sautéed in a garlic sauce, tossed with asparagus, tomatoes and angel hair pasta.

SHRIMP SCAMPI

CHICKEN PICCATA – Grilled chicken topped with a lemon garlic butter sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Served with parmesan crusted zucchini.

CHICKEN PICCATA

LINGUINE DI MARE – Shrimp and mussels sauteed with homemade pomodoro sauce and whole grain linguine.

LINGUINE DI MARE

AND DESSERT …….

AND DESSERT

I simply can’t believe ALL of these dishes are under 600 calories. I’ll be back again and again. Thanks SO much to Olive Garden for the preview. Be sure to check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Culinary Fight Club – The Savory Chocolate

Chicago will kick off the 2017 Culinary Fight Club Season with The Savory Chocolate at Lucky Strike on Monday 2/13!

 Get your tickets today


WHAT IS CULINARY FIGHT CLUB?

Monthly Live Cooking Competitions around Chicago produced by CULINARY Fight Club. Each month fires up with a new theme, ingredients, contestants, judges, prizes, and location!

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Contestants or Teams have (60) minutes to impress (3) judges, using (1) 10k BTU Burner and (15) supplied raw ingredients & (3) surprise ingredients, all to be judged on that one perfect bite! Hungry, don’t worry there is also a Taster’s Choice Award too! So attendees are encouraged to grab a tasting spoon, dig in and vote for their favorite bite!

Learn More About Culinary Fight Club Here 

CULINARY FIGHT CLUB – SIP+BITE

What is Culinary Fight Club?

Culinary Fight Club  hosts live cooking competitions. No two events are the same. The teams of cooks race for 45 seconds to choose 15 ingredients from the pantry of food provided by Reinhart Foodservice.

Once the ingredients are collected, each team has 60 minutes to construct a dish that depicts their take on the monthly theme. These Chefs and cooks of all levels around the area compete for a “Golden Ticket,” to advance to the Super Bowl of “food sport” events, the World Food Championships! Once the timer hit 60 minutes, the audience members and judges sample and vote on a winning dish.

Fight2Feed 50/50 TicketsThe most amazing part about this concept is that the Culinary Fight Club is partnered with Fight2Feed, which 20% of proceeds are donated.  This is an organization that partners with top restaurants and food trucks to provide service and support to hungry men, women and children.

This Months Chefs

Each month, chefs compete to advance to the next round and finalists have an opportunity to make it to the World Food Championships.

These are the chefs that competed in December:

  • Chef Mark Gaylord (HE WON!)
  • Chef Kevin Guida
  • Chef Madeline Wehking
  • Chef Justin Vaiciunas
  • Chef Chris De LaCueva

When and Where is the next one?

The location changes every month, Check here to find out and get your tickets! Don't forget to like Culinary Fight Club on Facebook and follow on Twitter to be sure you’re getting all the latest information.

Parma Rosa Pasta Recipe

Parma Rosa Pasta (Serves 3-4)
INGREDIENTS
  • ½ pound shrimp
  • ½ jar of Pasta Sauce
  • 16 oz of your favorite Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 package of Knorr Parma Rosa Pasta Sauce Mixes
  • 2 tsp. seasoning (Mrs. Dash® Garlic & Herb Seasoning Blend)
  • 1 pound dried penne pasta
  • Parsley for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

Cook penne pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Sprinkle seasoning over shrimp in a large heavy oiled sauce pan, until shrimp are fully cooked.  Add in ½ jar  Pasta Sauce and 16 oz. of Alfredo sauce and the packet of Knorr Parma Rosa Pasta Sauce Mix, stir and cook down for two minutes. Toss in penne pasta, garnish with fresh parmesan and Italian parsley

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Another great dinner ~ parma rosa with shrimp! #foodie #foodporn

A photo posted by Matthew Smith (@mjsmith0523) on

Culinary Fight Club 3rd Annual Sip+Bite Fundraiser Throwdown!

Come on out and cheer for your favorite Chef  for 3rdAnnual Sip+Bite Fundraiser Throwdown at Bottled Blonde Chicago 504 N Wells St, Chicago, Illinois 60654 on Monday 12/19 at 6pm.

This month, we pay homage to THE PERFECT SIP PAIRED WITH THE PERFECT BITE. They’ve put some amazing chefs head to head to see how they can create their signature Sip+Bite to represent ChiTown  in one hour. You don’t want to miss this!

Registration link here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/culinary-fight-club-sipbite-tickets-21130675419

Culinary Fight Club is a live cooking competition where chefs have 45 seconds to grab all the ingredients they can in order to cook the best dish they can. Chefs can also bring 3 secret ingredients to help their chances. Four judges will choose the official winner and our audience will choose a People’s Choice winner.

Learn More About Culinary Fight Club Here

Olive Theory Pizzeria is one of the best worst kept secrets.

Olive Theory Pizzeria is one of the best worst kept secrets.  This place not only has super fast pizza, but delicious too.  They are the number one ranked pizza place in Illinois.  If you haven't been there, then you need to go.  Although it is unlikely this will be the only one for long

Not only do they have pizza for one flat price!  I know.  Can you believe it? No matter what you order the price is the same for the pizzas, calzones and salads.  They have house recipes that you can alter or you can craft your own.

The best part is that Olive Theory Pizzeria is based on the olive branch.  They want to help the community by giving back.  For every 10 pizzas purchased they donate 1 pizza back to the community.  Not only are you feeding yourself, but everyone around you.

I can't forget there is an app!  Fast ordering is easy with the app.  You can make your lunch even faster by ordering in advance.  This is a place that will easily become a favorite for lunch.

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Culinary Fight Club Challenges Chicago’s Street Food

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This was my first Culinary Fight Club (CFC) competition! Let me tell you, this event was heaven for any Foodie. Being surrounded by fellow Foodies all while drinking, eating, and enjoying some healthy competition made for a memorable night!

This months theme was Chicago Street Food, CFC brought in six chefs from across the Chicago area to make their interpretation of Chicago street food. It was so incredible to watch as the chefs planed, prepped, and prepared their dishes in under 60 minutes. Watching them from setup of their stations, to stalking the pantry before the competition, to the drawing of the contestant number, and finally the race 45 second race to the pantry all leads up to the main event the competition to create the best dish.

I am most defiantly going to go to another Culinary Fight Club competition! It really sparked the Foodie inside of me!

What an exciting night at the @culinaryfightclub ~ each chef made a dish that represented chicago street food! #foodie

A photo posted by Matthew Smith (@mjsmith0523) on


This Months Chefs

CFC Chefs 10/17/16
Left: Chef Davis Rolon of Devon Seafood Grill, Chef Phil Wingo of Pork Mafia, Chef Nicholas Saponaro of ZED 451, Chef Mildred Ayala a Home Chef/Kitchen Inspector, Chef Ben Karawoski, Chef James Bernstien of the Lake Villa Fire Dept

I spotted some steak action earlier and it was delicious! Whatever you did is amazing! #CulinaryFightClub #StreetFood

A photo posted by Alison Groen (@rosiediscovers) on

I spy some #Chicago pig plates! Favorite team? Maybe. #StreetFood #CulinaryFightClub in progress!

A photo posted by Alison Groen (@rosiediscovers) on

What is Culinary Fight Club?

Culinary Fight Club dsc_8452hosts live cooking competitions. No two events are the same. The teams of cooks race for 45 seconds to choose 15 ingredients from the pantry of food provided by Reinhart Foodservice.

dsc_8424Once the ingredients are collected, each team has 60 minutes to construct a dish that depicts their take on the monthly theme. These Chefs and cooks of all levels around the area compete for a “Golden Ticket,” to advance to the Super Bowl of “food sport” events, the World Food Championships! Once the timer hit 60 minutes, the audience members and judges sample and vote on a winning dish.

Fight2Feed 50/50 TicketsThe most amazing part about this concept is that the Culinary Fight Club is partnered with Fight2Feed, which 20% of proceeds are donated.  This is an organization that partners with top restaurants and food trucks to provide service and support to hungry men, women and children.

And The Winners Are .......

Both winners received their "Golden Ticket,” to advance to the World Food Championships!

Audience Choice Winner - Chef Nicholas Saponaro of ZED 451

Audience Choice Winner
Chef Nicholas Saponaro
ZED 451

Judges Winner - Chef Mildred Ayala a Home Chef/Kitchen Inspector

Judges Winner
Chef Mildred Ayala
Home Chef/Kitchen Inspector

 

Which Chef are you supporting?

Come on out and cheer for your favorite Chef as they throwdown for #CulinaryFightClub "Chicago Street Food" at Concord Fifty Five located at 1355 West Concord Place Chicago, IL 60642 on Monday 10/17 at 6pm.

This month, we pay homage to the Chicago Street Food. They've put some amazing chefs head to head to see how they can create their signature Street Food to represent ChiTown  in one hour. You don't want to miss this!

2

There's still time to register for tonight's Culinary Fight Club

Each Chef has a discount code:
JOZI17
DAVID17
MILLIE17
BEN17
JAMES17
NICH17
PHIL17

This special chef code gets you $15 off the regular ticket price!

Registration link here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/culinary-fight-club-chicago-street-food-tickets-25324505277


Culinary Fight Club is a live cooking competition where chefs have 45 seconds to grab all the ingredients they can in order to cook the best dish they can. Chefs can also bring 3 secret ingredients to help their chances. Four judges will choose the official winner and our audience will choose a People's Choice winner.

Learn More About Culinary Fight Club Here

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Who is behind Just Keep Swimming?

14192130_10154234828215219_214218750602059772_nHello, my name is Matthew.  I’m a Social Media Consultant, Graphic Designer, Web Developer, Photography, Selfie Queen, Disney Geek, ΑΦΩ Brother, LGBT Activist, and Foodie.

When I moved to Chicago in 2011, I would never realize what an impact it would have on my life. I had the opportunity to live and learn in the heart of Chicago. Being just a few blocks away from public transportation the city is at my fingertips. I have always been passionate about photography, whether I’m pulling out me digital SLR or just my iPhone these days. I’m just trying to share just a little of my WORLD.  And anyone who knows me knows that I love a good #selfie. Besides Photography I am an avid Social Media user just hanging out and being social. But I’m not just a user I enjoy sharing my social media knowledge.

Outside of the digital world I’m an explorer, always looking for something new to discover and experience. I have been lucky in life to have had a few once in a lifetime experiences. So I’m always on the lookout for new experiences. As result each morning I remind myself to live each day to the fullest and not to pass up any opportunities that may come my way. To keep myself open to new experiences and always try something at least once because you never know what you may like.

A little about me, I have a background in marketing, social media, graphic and web design. By day I’m an onboarding specialist/front end developer for a template based website company. Outside of my day job I freelance work under my personal business M85 Digital Media. I’m always looking for opportunities to use my creative capabilities, especially as they relate to today's digital world.

When it comes to my spare time I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, cooking, shopping and watching Netflix.

I’m looking forward to bring you the latest things going on in my world as I Just Keep Swimming!

Matthew