ASHEVILLE, NC – Chefs from Asheville restaurants bested chefs from throughout the Southeast on Saturday during a National Truffle Festival’s Risotto Cook-off.
The competition was held at "The Flying Frog" and pitted nine chefs in an "Iron Chef"-type duel. Gold, Silver and Bronze metals went to Chef Vijay Shastri (The Flying Frog); Chef Bill Klein (FIG); and Chef Todd (Savoy), respectfully.
Shastri took the gold with a truffled risotto which included spices inspired by his Indian heritage. Klein took a more purist approach to his dish to claim the Silver, while Todd brought his own unique interpretation to the classic dish for Bronze.
The event was well attended by regional truffle growers and foodies alike. The nine judges included chef Walter Royal (Angus Barn, Raleigh); sommelier Henk Shuitemaker (Angus Barn, Raleigh); Eliza Olander (Frankie Lemmon Foundation); Tony Fraga (Haywood Park Hotel); Michael Parker (local food and wine writer), and Mayor Terry Bellamy.
The truffle festival took place from March 5-8 and was sponsored by Garland Truffles. Proceeds from the event went to the Frankie Lemmon Foundation to support children with special needs.