Fifteen finalists competed in Gambit's Emerging Chefs Challenge at The Cannery Wednesday evening. Le Foret's Brandon Felder won the competition after his dish - sugarcane glazed Kurobuta pork belly with goat cheese spoonbread and crispy Tabasco onion - was voted the top dish by attendees.
Chef Mark Majorie of the Fountain Lounge at the Roosevelt Hotel claimed second place with his braised lamb neck with English pea miso and pickled white peaches.
[jump] Chef Michael Gulotta of MoPho took third place with his dish - slow-roasted Two Run Farms lamb and smoked tofu in green curry with roasted beet baby carrot and cashew salad.
Dishes included Cristina Quackenbush's (Milkfish) Filipino-style ceviche, James Cullen's (Treo) beef tongue and duck confit yaka mein, Erin Swanson's (Restaurant R'evolution) red velvet cornbread with foie gras mousse, Austin Kirzner's (Red Fish Grill) soft-shell crab bisque with Louisiana blue crab dash and Richard Bickford's (Tujague's) pork belly over oyster-andouille cream with sweet corn chow chow.
Felder won a $1,000 prize and a trophy.
More than 40 chefs were nominated for the competition. To be eligible, chefs must have served as head chef or chef de cuisine at an area restaurant for three years or less. Winners were determined solely on the basis of voting by event attendees. More than 500 votes were cast.
The 2014 finalists were:
Chef Michael Gulotta, MoPho
Chef Michael Wilson, Pizza domenica
Chef Brandon Felder, Le Foret Restaurant
Chef Russell Pevey, Seithers Restaurant
Chef Austin Kirzner, Red Fish Grill
Chef Matthew Bossie, Pizza Delicious
Chef Timothy Pearson, O'Briens Grille
Chef Brian Armour, Noodle & Pie
Chef Travis Cheatum, Marigny Brasserie
Chef Mark A. Majorie Jr., The Fountain Lounge , Roosevelt Hotel
Chef James Cullen, Treo
Chef Cristina Quackenbush, Milkfish
Chef Richard Bickford, Tujague's
Chef Brent Tranchina, Dinner Lab New Orleans
Chef Erin Swanson, Restaurant R’evolution