On Sunday at Cafe Keough, it's the first annual BooyA Base competition, where it's chef vs. chef working to create the best bouillabaisse. Proceeds go to the Mid-South Food Bank.
The idea came about, says organizer Demitrie Phillips, after he and fellow chef John Pearson tried to enter a recent gumbo contest. But the contest was already full. "We were bummed," remembers Phillips. "Then John said, Why don't we do our own contest?" It was Pearson, too, who came up with the idea for bouillabaisse.
Bouillabaisse is a traditional French stew with fresh fish. Phillips says authentic bouillabaisse includes fish, fish stock and broth, croutons, and roasted pepper aioli. It's that the dish is so specific that makes the contest interesting, he says. "There's creativity involved. That's what makes it so unique."
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Up to 10 chefs will present their dishes blind to a panel of judges — restaurateurs Karen Carrier and Patrick Reilly and the Flyer's own John Klyce Minervini, among them — who will then rate them on presentation, technique, flavor, aroma, and ingredients. Guests will also have a chance to vote for their favorite as well.
The winner gets bragging rights and a trophy. Phillips says he's currently looking for one with a crab.