Boka Restaurant Group kicked off its series of live chef challenges last night with a throwdown between Paul Virant (Vie, Perennial Virant) and Chris Pandel (The Bristol, and the upcoming Balena) on the sidewalk patio outside Perennial Virant. As about 100 ticket holders/judges watched on a gorgeous summer night, Kevin Boehm introduced the challenge ingredients (selected by Perennial Virant sous chef Scott Manley) and the chefs made 100 tasting portions on a pair of stainless steel grills recently removed from Landmark. Click on the picture to check out our recap of the whole smoky spectacle.
Both chefs get the same protein — Dietzler beef round — but they have their choice of the other motley ingredients on offer. Virant chooses velveeta and Wonder bread; Pandel picks peanut butter, kimchi and jalapeños.
In a frying pan set on the grill, the chef starts with the greens.
As he sets up a blender for Pandel to make a peanut butter marinade for his beef, Manley briefly chats with Boehm about his plan. We guess this makes Boehm the Kevin Brauch
of the competition.
Smoke drives the crowd back as both chefs get serious.
Pandel furiously plates 100 pieces of grilled round.
Team Virant plates the round on top of grilled Wonder bread.
Virant finishes with a cheese sauce made of Velveeta and some of the PBR he was swigging while cooking.
But in the end, the audience gives the win to Pandel’s spicy, peanut butter marinated beef with grilled onion and avocado.