Local Detroit restaurant Coach Insignia captured first prize and $5,000 at the "Motown Iron Chef" cook-off, which was sponsored by Chrysler, Jeep® and Chrysler Financial. This is the first year of the "Motown Iron Chef" competition, which kicked off at the Detroit Winter Blast today. Coach Insignia's Chrysler Aspen Crab Cakes topped recipes from two other local restaurant chefs who competed in the charitable event.
The "Motown Iron Chef" concept was similar to the popular "Iron Chef" television show. However, instead of the chefs creating a full menu around a pre-selected food, the chefs were asked to create a dish around a Chrysler Group-brand vehicle. The Chrysler Aspen, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and Jeep Commander were the three "menu" items used to spark epicurean creativity.
"Detroit Winter Blast was a great place to host this year's cook-off because it's well attended and one of the first big outdoor events of the year," says Nellie LaGarde, Chrysler Group Manager – Education Programs, Civic and Community Relations. "All of the competing recipes were creative and reminiscent of our brands, but also underscored great taste, convenience and versatility.
"We support the Detroit community in several community-based initiatives and the Motown Iron Chef cook-off is another opportunity to donate to charities that help fight hunger in the greater metropolitan area," said Brad Norman, Chrysler Financial Director - Great Lakes Business Center. "We are very pleased that these restaurants have joined us to help fight hunger."
"I'm thrilled," Chef David Hubbard said. "It was a wonderful opportunity to come to Detroit Winter Blast to compete against two of Detroit's best chefs. I am honored to donate the funds to Cass Community Social Services, which provides food and services to the needy in the metropolitan Detroit area."
Each restaurant donated their winnings to a charity. In addition to Coach Insignia's donation of $5,000 to Cass Community Social Services. The second-place winner, Vicente's, donated $500 to Lighthouse Emergency Services, and third-place winner, Seldom Blues, donated $250 to Crossroads of Michigan. The funds were provided by Chrysler Financial.
The charities will use the money to feed the homeless, help people in emergencies and provide community services.
Hubbard based his creation on characteristics of the Chrysler Aspen. The Aspen is known for its luxury and relates well with the prepared dish that exemplifies guilt-free indulgence. The Chrysler Aspen Crab Cakes are nestled in a roomy Potato Nest and dressed with a HEMI -Powered Poblano Aioli. The recipe features unique, non-traditional flavor pairings of choice ingredients such as jumbo lump crab meat, Panko bread crumbs, Tabasco and re-hydrated chipotle peppers. In addition, chef Hubbard used Dijon mustard and honey in his recipe, which continue to be a preference with many cooks today.
This year's competition focused on the passion that Detroiters exhibit for Chrysler Group vehicles and food. Both can provide a center for family time, whether it's driving to school or weekend events, family get-togethers or simply enjoying a family meal. Both provide shared moments that bind families and communities together in healthy and nutritional ways.
The winners were selected by a panel of six judges, all self-described "foodies" and included community leaders, Chrysler Group and Chrysler Financial executives, and media. The recipes were judged based on taste/flavor, presentation, quality and creativity — and their correlation to a select Chrysler Group-brand vehicle.
The winning recipes for Chrysler Aspen Crab Cakes, Potato Nest for Crab Cakes and Chipotle Tartar Sauce are provided below.
Chrysler Aspen Crab Cakes Ingredients:
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon minced celery
1 tablespoon minced white onion
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large mixing bowl, fold all ingredients together without breaking up the jumbo lump crab. Using a small scoop or table spoon, scoop out small portions of the crab cake and form into small patties.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium high heat. Place the crab cakes in the pan, caramelizing each side to a dark golden brown.
Potato Nest for Crab Cakes Ingredients:
2 large Idaho potatoes
Using a mandolin, shred the potatoes and deep fry at 350° until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper immediately after removing from the fryer.
Chipotle Tartar Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup capers
8 pieces of re-hydrated chipotle peppers, chopped and the re-hydrating liquid reserved
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fine chopped roasted red pepper
Mix all ingredients, except the re-hydrating liquid, in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. Use the reserved liquid as needed to adjust thickness and taste. Remember, the heat from the Chipotle will increase as it settles into the sauce, so taste before adding any additional heat.