2014 Vitamix Challenge

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What Is The Vitamix Challenge?

The Vitamix Challenge is a chance to flex your blending muscles and compete against other top chefs from across the country to win the Ultimate Vitamix Package for your kitchen.

For a chance to compete,  submit an original recipe  that utilizes a Vitamix blender in an innovative, creative, and—of course—delicious way. The six finalists chosen will travel to New York City to recreate this dish and compete at the 9th Annual StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress on October 27th, and will also receive a 3-day Industry Pass.

The 2014 Vitamix Challenge

The 2014 Vitamix Challenge will take place October 27th at the 9th Annual StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress. Finalists will travel to New York City to compete at this one-of-a-kind blend-off, creating dishes that showcase the Vitamix blender in unusual and innovative ways. This year's judges will include Chef Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter restaurant, Chef Norman Van Aken of NORMAN'S,  Chef Evan Hennessey of Stages at One Washington, and Beverly Shaffer, Chef and Recipe Development Manager for Vitamix.

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Meet the Winner

 

Courtney Weyl – New York, NY
wd~50

Winning Dish: Chamomile Cake, Chamomile-Grapefruit Sorbet, Brown Butter Praline, Popcorn Mousse and Popcorn Meringue

Meet the Runner-Up

 

Melinda Dorn – Madison, WI
L'Etoile

Dish: Vegan and Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Cake with Coconut “Crème”

Meet the Competitors

Robert Sisca - Boston, MA
Bistro du Midi at the Back Bay

A graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, Robert Sisca has worked for some of the most renowned restaurants in New England.

Melinda Dorn - Madison, WI
L'Etoile

Back in 1996, when Pastry Chef Melinda Dorn graduated from the culinary program at the Atlantic Cape College in New Jersey, she was on the fence as to whether her heart lied in the savory and pastry k

Marcos Fernandez - Lakeland, FL
Lakeland Yacht & Country Club

For Marcos Fernandez, family is the centerpiece of life and the inspiration for his career.

Scott Drewno - Washington, D.C.
The Source

Scott Drewno’s culinary career started in the kitchen of his childhood in Upstate New York, helping his mother and grandmother with Sunday dinners and holiday feasts.

Matt Bolus - Nashville, TN
The 404 Kitchen at the Downtown

Cooking started out as a high school hobby for Chef Matt Bolus.

Courtney Weyl - Los Gatos, CA
Manresa

Los Angeles native Courtney Weyl knew what she wanted early on in life: to master the sweet side of the kitchen.

Prizes

1 Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • The Ultimate Vitamix Package
    • Vita-Prep® 3
    • Vitamix® XL™
    • The Quiet One™ from Vitamix
  • A $500 American Express Gift Certificate

 

The Runner-up will receive:

  • Vita-Prep® 3
  • $250 American Express Gift Certificate

 

All 6 Finalists will receive:

  • $500 Travel Certificate/Stipend for travel to New York City
  • 3-day Industry Pass to attend the StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress
  • Vitamix travel bag

 

General Competition Information

Terms and Conditions

Who:

The competition is open to any working chef (restaurant, hotel, catering, banquet, etc)—both savory and pastry. 

Six finalists will be chosen to compete at the International Chefs Congress.

At the International Chefs Congress:

Finalists will have access to the prep kitchens at the International Chefs Congress and will have one (1)hour to prep. Chefs will then have one (1) hour to complete and present his or her dish to the judges' panel. The blending portion of each recipe must take place at the International Chefs Congress in front of the judges.

Ingredients:

Competitors will be required to bring their own ingredients.

Equipment:

Each competitor will have access to the following equipment*:

  • Stand mixers
  • Induction burners
  • Immersion circulators
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Spice grinder
  • Basic smallwares

 

* Contestants will share available equipment. Selected finalists will be given the exact equipment available in advance of the competition.

Judging

Judges will base their assessment on the visual presentation, uniqueness of equipment technique, and the overall taste of the dish.

Points will be awarded on a 1-10 scale (10 being the best) for each of the weighted categories:

  • Unique Vitamix application: 50%
  • Taste: 30%
  • Overall Dish Presentation: 20%