Chef Takashi Yagihashi gets points for creativity in Chef Cook-Off

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the Allegrini Cook-Off For a Cause in Chicago with my niece and fellow Chicago Foodie Sisters blogger, Kelly. It was a lovely event in which three chefs took the challenge of inventing a recipe to pair with Allegrini's Palazzo del Torre Veronese IGT 2009.

It was so interesting to see the different interpretations each chef displayed to pair with the red wine. One prepared a lovely pasta dish with duck that was excellent. Another made a braised veal with an unlikely flavor combination that wowed us. And then there was Chef Takashi Yagihashi's dish that came in second place, but was definitely the most unusual and most creative.

The dish was Grilled Pennsylvania Squab with grilled black mission figs with bacon, white grits, mousseline of squab liver and reduction of concord grapes with balsamic vinegar glaze. That's a mouthful. Ok, I'm not going to lie. When I read the menu, I wasn't sure was squab was. It suspected it was fowl, but knowing that the menus at the chef's restaurants, Takashi and Slurping Turtle are heavy on seafood, I was leaning that direction...until it was served. No mistake from that presentation that it's not something from the sea.

The flavors complimented each other so well. The squab was medium rare with a smoky flavor that melted in your mouth. The accompanying sweetness of the grapes was perfect. And I was happy to be able to add another new food to my list that I had not tried before.

Read more about the event later this week and find out who the winners were!


  1. I don't know if I would be able to eat anything that actually still has it's feet attached. Sure was interesting to read about though.


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