First Rule of Bite Club, Don’t Talk About It. So Hush as I Spill!
The first rule of Bite Club is, you don't talk about Bite Club...however, when it's a throw-down competition with a celebrity chef involved that the community has a chance to participate in, I feel it's a must to share what happened this past Friday night.
Bite Club is described on Shawn Niles, aka Fat Pastors, website as
The rumors have been circling and after each Bite Club is wrapped. Photos shared on social media give a peek at the serene views down a long beautifully decorated table. The dishes served course after course feature delicately plated creations in lavender fields or someone's backyard overlooking the Yakima Valley. It almost sounds too good to be true in our valley but you best believe it's real and I now have proof!
Friday night at The Lab, Shawn's delicious spot to grab a savory and unique lunch was transformed into the second-ever Bite Club Throw Down.
1 Winner that will receive a ticket to enter the World Food Competition!
The competitors for the evening were Chef Tammy, who ran Twisted Sister and is now based out of Fieldstone. Chef James, culinary director at Stanton Academy, and the celebrity chef of the evening, Chef Yachecia. She competed against Shawn Niles at the beginning of Season 8 of Master Chef a few years back and took 5th place in the competition!
To say I was pumped to go with my Mom as my plus one was an understatement. You can grab wine before the games begin and I was offered a bottle instead of a glass, said no, but in hindsight, almost always you should get the bottle! Three rounds, one glass per and you're feeling full and fancy!
I LOVE the way this competition goes, Shawn is a fantastic host, introducing judges, getting the crowd warmed up while the chefs completed their finishing touches, and then the first course was served. Three plates, just like you would see the judges get on tv get where you get to taste it all, and decide what you enjoyed most. The theme was bacon and our appetizer round did not disappoint.
Chef Tammy - Fried Green Tomato. Fire Roasted Red pepper, Crisp Frisee finished with a tangy bacon dressing and blue cheese crumbles.
Chef Yachecia - Smoked Pork Jowl Shrimp 'n' Grits
Chef James - Duck Bacon Honeycrisp White Cheddar Crostini with Raspberry Pomegranate Reduction
Incredibly delicious! Chef Yachecia Smoked Pork Jowl Shrimp 'n' Grits was heaven. It was a fun surprise to find bits of the jowl mixed in with the grits, soft and creamy and the flavors just exploded. The only thing I wish I would have been warned about was that shrimp shell. I am still thinking about how good this dish was as I write this.
Chef James's Duck Bacon dish was a wonderful bite full of flavor and layers. The bacon was a bit thick but the mixture of everything had me wanting more. I am a sucker for butter and toasted pieces of baguette and this dish checked all the boxes.
Chef Tammy's Fried Green Tomato hit the spot. Having tried to make my own, I was super impressed with the fact it was cooked to perfection, not oily, AND didn't even give off tomato vibes. The dressing wrapped it up into a perfectly executed dish so as badly as I wanted to vote Chef Yachecia, Tammy was my choice and took that round based on the rest of the crowd. I wanted each Chef to win round one for real!
Chef Tammy - Sauteed Morel Mushrooms, Kale Sun-Dried Tomatoes in a silky parmesan cream sauce. Garnished with chives.
Chef Yachecia - Duck Bacon & Egg Ravioli
Chef James - Roast Pork Belly with white bean puree and cucumber-radish salad
Another stellar round and SUCH tough decisions but honestly making ravioli from scratch was pretty fancy with duck bacon sprinkled on top, I felt the need to make up for not voting for Chef Yachecia for the first round and gave it to her though that creamy sauteed morel mushroom dish from Chef Tammy is something I would eat again and again! Chef James's roast pork belly was the first time I've understood when a judge says, "I wish mine would have been seasoned like the others". My second to the last bite was where the seasoning was and it was an explosion of flavor. These chefs are SO talented.
Chef Tammy - Cream Puff filled with apple compote, chantilly cream topped with candied bacon, and spicy maple glaze.
Chef Yachecia - Pancetta brown sugar german chocolate cupcake
Chef James - Maple Panna Cotta with bacon salted caramel sauce.
With my third glass of wine in hand, I was blown away by the flavors. The cream puff from Tammy was light, delicious and that candied bacon with a touch of heat was on point. The German chocolate cupcake from Chef Yachecia was moist and rich and I'm not even a German chocolate cake fan but the winner hands down, like my mouth is watering as I write this is Chef James. What the ever-loving madness, this dessert had me consumed from the first bite to the last. Where I was scraping the martini glass-bottom to get the last of Chef Yachecia's grits I wanted to savor every exquisite bite of this creamy, salty, sweet, and savory dessert. Chef James for the win on course three again and again and again!
This entire evening was not only incredibly delicious but fancy and so much fun! You can sit with all your friends or be seated at a table where you get to make new friends in the community. Everyone here for sure shares a passion for food and community.
The judges are local celebrities in their own right and the winner of the Bite Club Throw Downs gets a golden ticket of sorts to compete in the World Food Competition that's coming up in a few months. Shawn is already going to compete and though I am not allowed to share what is about to happen. You'll know when you hear it and it is SO FLIPPING COOL!
If you are wanting to celebrate a foodie's birthday, go on a fancier date in town or just do something completely different, I highly recommend looking at upcoming Bite Club competitions and securing your seats. It's amazing and I can't wait to do it again.
Bite Club Throw Down
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