Last night marked the second annual duck duel between Chef Michael Tuohy and Food Writer Hank Shaw. While both duck lovers brought their A-game (no pun intended), we had two awards up for grabs: one diners’ choice award and one critic’s choice award.
But first, let’s check out the impressive menu from last night! Now we can officially tell you that Chef Tuohy = A and Hank Shaw = B:
Duck Duel Fowl Mouth Menu
A: Little Egg stuffed with duck liver mousse on yuzu gelee
B: Duck Tartare olives / capers / roasted peppers / garlic
A: Duck Consomme foie gras dumpling / matsutake mushroom / radish sprouts
B: Duck Liver Tortelloni made from duck eggs / rich duck broth
A: Duck Confit pickled daikon & mango salad / shiso / quince syrup
B: Duck Leg stuffed with duck & pork longaniza sausage / bitter greens
A: Spice Scented Duck Breast sweet potato / baby bok choy / persimmon
B: Duck Breast Roulade / swiss chard / celery root puree / chanterelles / rue
Mincemeat Strudel calvados hard sauce / apple-foie butter
Rick Kushman was our critic judge, and here’s what he had to say about the dinner….
“Amuse Bouche: Winner A. The blend of the egg’s mellow earthiness and the brightness of the yuzu gelee was both fun and a surprise, exactly what an amuse bouche should be.
First: Winner B: This was tough. Two similar dishes in very different styles. A was a bit more powerful, but the tortellini in B was terrific, and B’s slightly milder broth had a little more depth.
Next: Winner A: That was my favorite dish of the evening. The duck confit was handled perfectly – a bit crisp on the outside, rich and moist on the inside – and the blend with the pickled daikon gave it a great structure and balance, and it added another layer to the taste.
Main: Winner B. This was another tough choice, but I picked B largely because of the way the celery root puree and the chanterelles complimented and expanded the flavor of the duck.
Overall Winner A: Both chefs put out terrific food, and given that I have a 2-2 tie on dishes, there’s no overwhelming winner. I think there was a bit more consistency and coherence in A’s meal, and, if nothing else, the duck confit puts A over the top.
Thanks to both Michael and Hank for such imaginative and thoroughly delicious meals.”
Our second award for the night was chosen by the duck diners, who voted by each dish and for an overall winner.
67% A / 33% B
69% A / 31% B
76% A / 24% B
19% A / 81% B
67% A / 33% B
Looks like Chef Tuohy won the majority this time around, but Hank’s main dish was a force to be reckoned with! Thank you to everyone who attended, and we look forward to seeing you at the next duck dinner!