After denying Chef Miguel his chance at history, new Champion Chef of the Inland Empire Brein Clements was ready to defend his title against Challenger Chef Timothy Hanson of Chef Tim’s With Spices in Rancho Cucamonga at the Inland Empire Sunday Night Chef Fight on Sunday, March 13th at The Salted Pig in Riverside.
With prior Inland Empire Sunday Night Chef Fight venue The Cooking Store closing its doors forever, this Chef Fight ewas moved to The Salted Pig in Riverside, where Chef Brein enjoyed a bit of home-
kitchen advantage and elected as champion to cook first. Chef Brein rolled out four dishes that included the base ingredients of pork,carrots, white rice and the mystery ingredient of Guinness Irish Stout (in honor of the approaching St. Patrick’s Day). Brein’s first dish was a pickled carrot wrapped in Prosciutto Americano and topped with a honey garlic aioli. Next, he served up a pork version of the raw Beef Kelaguen he has on The Salted Pig’s menu, featuring bacon, soy sauce, and white rice. Then, Brein prepared his pork belly tacos, with fresh corn torillas and a pureed jalapeno carrot salsa. Last was his dessert, a simple Creme Anglaise pudding topped with a Guinness Irish Stout whipped cream.
After the audience had evaluated Brein’s dishes, Chef Tim took to the kitchen and immediately charged into an ambitious menu of five dishes. He began with a shrimp Po Boy salad, consisting of fresh greens, fried shrimp, homemade Cole slaw, walnuts, golden raisins, apples, and his famous Po Boy sauce. Next was his Guinness red beans and rice, a twist on his classic red beans and rice that featured ham hocks, shredded carrots, and of course Guinness. Next came two dishes on the same plate: a Midwest pulled pork grinder topped with pickles, cole slaw, and his Po Boy sauce, and a pork rib chop “lollipop” served with a Guinness Stout barbecue sauce. Unfortunately, Chef Tim went over his time limit here and absorbed a penalty for going over time, but he did manage to finish his dessert, a sweet carrot pie (instead of sweet potato) with a cream cheese whipped cream frosting that the audience liked so much, Chef Tim vowed to add it to his regular menu.
After tasting and evaluating Chef Tim’s dishes, the audience voted, and in a sweep of all three categories, Chef Brein Clements was declared the winner and retained his title as Champion Chef of the Inland Empire. The next Inland Empire Sunday Night Chef Fight will take place in June and tickets will be available at www.sundaynightcheffights.com.