Congratulations, Chef Chris McKinley of Culture Shock Restaurant Group for being crowned Dish It Out Champion 2016! As incumbent champion, Chef McKinley had all eyes on him during the culinary competition. It was a tough call but McKinley’s farro risotto with melted leeks, charred baby carrots, roasted squash and cashew-apricot brown butter came out on top! Honestly, every dish made looked and sounded spectacular. I only wish I was one of judges to have had the opportunity to try everything. Bravo to chefs Jason McGrath, Gio Osso, and Gregory Wiener as well. These guys know how to put on a show!
Dish It Out is an culinary event where all proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Phoenix. After watching four fantastic local chefs duke it out on stage, I hopped from booth to booth imbibing and dining on some of the most delicious bites from Valley restaurants.
A Visual Recap:
In brief, High Street was vibrant with festive lights and a fun crowd. Towards the end of the evening we rocked out to live music while sipping on our beer and wine. So, if you have a chance to go next time, make a night out of it and support a great cause. I hope to see you all next year!
For more information: http://www.dishitoutaz.org
About Dish It Out 2015 & 2016 Champion, Chef Chris McKinley:
After graduating high school and his part-time job in the kitchen, Chris McKinley moved to San Diego and worked as a line cook at a country club. He then spent two years developing the fundamentals of cooking, which prepared him for advancement to the level of Sous Chef working under Hiro Suzuki. Subsequently, it was here where McKinley learned and perfected his techniques in Japanese cuisine. After working with Chef Suzuki, McKinley sought to expand his culinary knowledge and enrolled in The Art Institute of California.
McKinley extended his culinary journey back to Arizona, working for Jean Georg Vongerichten at J&G Steakhouse, Chef Chris Curtiss at Noca, the five-diamond and five-star restaurant Addison with renowned Chef William Bradley, and Sam Fox at North Italia. Later he took the Executive Chef role at Atlas Bistro where he could showcase his own flare. After two years, he opened his own restaurant in bustling downtown Phoenix called The Local. Currently, McKinley is working on an exciting new Downtown Phoenix project scheduled to debut in December.