Our 4th annual Cassoulet War took place Monday evening, January 29, 2018. With 23 chefs competing for 3 prizes and bragging rights until next year’s competition, it was a night of great smells and incredible flavors.
Attendees (including several chef competitors from years past) challenged themselves to taste each cassoulet while drinking fine wine from the Southwest of France. If you’ve ever had cassoulet, you know that eating 23 servings of this hearty dish is a challenge indeed!
WINNER Most Traditional Cassoulet: Chef Alexander Burger of Bar Boulud in NYC layered many meaty flavors into his super-traditional Cassoulet de Campagne.
WINNER Most Daring Cassoulet: All the way from Houston, TX, Chef Kiran Verma stunned the judges with her bold and spicy version of cassoulet. With venison and bison, lots of Indian spices, white beans and curried duck confit, this dish was a medley of Texas chili, cassoulet and Indian curry. Unlike any cassoulet we’ve tried!
WINNER The People’s Choice: With a huge percentage of the people’s vote, the traditional cassoulet by Chef Guillaume Ginther of Le Coq Rico was a clear favorite.
However, the true winner of the night was Action Against Hunger, as the event raised more than $10,000 in support of the nonprofit organization.
Our esteemed judges who were duty bound to taste each of the 23 cassoulets were:
Chef Philippe Bertineau (chef & ambassador of L’Academie Universelle de Cassoulet)
Benjamin Bragard (CEO, Bragard)
Chef Jean-Louis Dumonet (chef, president Maitres Cuisiniers de France)
Chef Andre Soltner (French chef and author)
Chef Sara Moulton (host of Sara’s Weeknight Meals on PBS)
Chef Laurent Tourondel (L’Amico, The Vine)
Anne-Claire Legendre (Madame le Consul General de France a New York)
Elizabeth Falkner (chef, Top Chef judge)
La Compagnie, an all-business-class boutique airline offering business flights from New York to Paris, gave away a round-trip ticket to a lucky attendee. That winner, Florence Miller, has the option to accompany Alexander Burger of Bar Boulud, the winner of the Best Traditional Cassoulet, to Castelnaudry, France for an annual cassoulet event in August. Lucky lady!
The perfect red wines to pair with cassoulet were generously provided by Chateau Peyros and George Vigouroux, and were greatly appreciated by all. Cassoulet War winners were given rare bottles of Armagnac by Chateau de Laubade.
Bragard gave each chef and judge a custom embroidered Cassoulet War apron or jacket, and you can see that most of the judges donned them for their official work.
For more photos of the event check our Facebook page.
Hungry for cassoulet? Just order our Cassoulet Recipe Kit and bring this tradition into your home kitchen.