Meatball mania has overtaken ECPI University’s Culinary Institute of Virginia (CIV), at least for today! Fifteen student teams from the Norfolk and Newport News locations went head-to-head this morning in a competition to create the most imaginative, tasty meatballs. And there was more on the line than simple bragging rights.
The winner represents CIV at the Crazy Good Meatball Challenge this Sunday at the Mid-Atlantic Home and Garden Show in Virginia Beach. Presiding over that competition is none other than Chef Mike Isabella, Top Chef Contestant, famous restaurant owner, and author of the book, Crazy Good Italian. He will lead a contingent of local chefs in deciding who makes the best meatballs in Coastal Virginia.
Today’s winner at the CIV competition: Mike Miles and Jason Lord and their crazy-delicious Moroccan Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce. Some of the other lip-smacking entries included Bacon Caprese Meatballs, Chorizo Meatballs with Salsa Roja, Italian Mushroom Risotto Meatballs with Spicy Tomato Jam, Greek Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce, Smokey Meatball Au Gratin, Carib-Asian Chicken Meatballs.
Everyone at the Culinary Institute of Virginia would like to thank our guest chefs who judged today’s event: Elizabeth Kloc from Felinni’s, Matt Gibbs from Todd Jurich’s Bistro, David Frohlich from Braise, Jose Perez from Cedar Point Country Club, Chris Jones from Riverstone Chophouse, Peter Tseng from Westminster Canterbury, and Leon Buenviaje from CP Shuckers.
“One of the most difficult things to do is to take an abstract idea and bring it to fruition on a plate,” says Peter Tseng. Several of the chefs praised the students for their imagination, simple, elegant flavors, and presentation. As for today’s winner, Fellinis’ Elizabeth Kloc may have said it best. “When I tasted it, it was like immediate ‘WOW’ factor.”