About Last Night: Fancy-Pants Brunch

Owner Adam Ritter (left) and Executive Chef Brian Lofink (right) watching the battle from the outside.

Last night, we held our 28th Open Stove cook-off. It was an inner-city rivalry: Fishtown gastropub Kraftwork vs. Graduate Hospital gastropub The Sidecar Bar & Grille. Both restaurants under the same chef/owners; both contenders doing some pretty awesome stuff in their own kitchens. But in the immortal words of Arthur Etchells, “I don’t eat eggs enough for dinner.”

So we made that happen.

It was a booze-y, brunch-y, Scissorhands-y dinner, full of all the breakfast favorites from Bisquick to scrapple. This night, like every other Open Stove, was exceedingly fun. So join us in our recap, and see with your own eyes what went down.

The Teams

Team Sidecar was led by John Kasenchak (on the right with what he called his “couture apron”), and playing the part of his sous was Michael Vincent Ferrari. Yep—Michael, Vincent, Ferrari. And by the way he introduced himself, that might have just been his first name: Michaelvincentferrari.

Donning the Phillies and Canucks caps: Team Kraftwork, led by Josh Evans (Canucks), with Arturo Sanchez (Phillies) as his sous.

This doesn’t usually happen, but both teams’ amuse bouches accurately depicted what their food would be like for the rest of the night. Kraftwork stuck to comfort, while Sidecar’s was a little more elaborate.

Team Sidecar’s fat Oyster Shooter with a Sicilian mignonette, orange, and fennel.

Team Kraftwork’s Homemade Pork Pate, apricot puree, chervil, and pickled mustard seeds.

The Secret Ingredients

Up until this point, neither of the contestants knew that they’d be cooking brinner. Pork rolls for Team Kraftwork, and scrapple for Team Sidecar, and both teams had bacon, potatoes, Bisquick, frozen waffles, and coffee. And eggs. Lots of eggs. And syrup. And hot sauce. and bananas. Really, the list of brunch-able ingredients went on and on.

Team Kraftwork’s creation was a Pork Roll & Crab Scramble topped with hearts of palm, watercress, and grapefruit segments with a grapefruit-crème fraîche vinaigrette. Make it at home—it’d be such a good way to start your day.

Team Sidecar dressed their course up a bit more: a Beech mushroom revuelto, with an arugula-hazelnut pesto, concord grape gastrique, scrapple hash, and yuzu salt. 

Second Course Challenge

This was where things got interesting. We decided to Edward Scissorhands their asses. The chefs watched in horror as Jason and COOK GM Lily Cope taped their “good hand” around a slotted spatula and their other hand around tongs. The sous chefs were free.

Team Kraftwork’s second course: Roasted Veal Loin, baby carrots, shallot confit, chive pancake, bacon-maple-Madeira veal sauce.

Team Sidecar’s second course: Marinated lamb loin, red-eye maple jus, acorn squash puree, bacon, apple, swiss chard, raw cranberry relish.

Dessert was quick and easy for Team Sidecar. They brought a Red Miso-Black Sesame shortbread cookie sandwich, with black pepper-caramel chip ice cream in the middle. 

Team Kraftwork went with a warm Butternut Squash sweet risotto with sliced bananas, blackberries, pomegranate, spiced brown butter, and fried sage.

Both contestants were good sports about their hands being taped to cookware. Both contestants plated some pretty freakin’ awesome dishes. But a winner emerged after a very close vote.

Team Sidecar bettered their brothers across town, and Open Stove XXVIII came to a close.

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