Stella Artois Chef Battle Royale

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Left: Chef Chris Lee of RiverCity Event Center preparing winning Lobster dish, Right: Culinary Stage Crowd, Right: Dish from Stella Artois Chef Battle Royale. Photos above by Peter Newcomb.

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 8.58.43 PMAbout the Stella Artois Chef Battle Royale

The Chef Battle Royale is a live culinary competition that has won over the chef community, foodies, the media and of course – Budweiser Taste of St. Louis patrons. Eight of the region’s top chefs are hand-selected by the Budweiser Taste of St. Louis Culinary Committee to compete head-to-head on the Culinary Stage in seven “battle” categories. After three days of intense competition, only one chef is left standing and crowned the Chef Battle Royale Champion.

Each chef is given 40 minutes to produce his or her best dish (per the category they are given) in front of a live audience. The winner of each round advances to compete in the next bracket.The field narrows until two competitors are left standing to vie for the title Chef Battle Royale Champion. The 2013 seven battle categories were: Battle Mushroom, Battle Vegetable, Battle Chicken-and-Egg, Battle Beef, Battle Pork and Battle Cheese. The final battle – Battle Lobster & Beer included a dessert competition.

The Chef Battle Royale is managed and hosted by Budweiser Taste of St. Louis’ Executive Chef, Vito Racanelli - chef/owner of the award-winning Italian restaurant, Mad Tomato in Clayton. Vito has been involved in the planning, managing, and perfecting of the competition for more than 5 years. The seven “battles” which take place throughout the weekend are judged by local food experts, celebrities and our culinary sponsors.


Congratulations to Chris Lee –
Two Time Champion of the Stella Artois Chef Battle Royale!

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Chef Chris Lee of River City Casino was declared champion of the 2013 Chef Battle Royale, for the second year in a row after winning the final competition – Battle Lobster – on Sunday. Assisting the victory was Kore Wilbert, Chef Lee’s Sous chef and long time friend.

Lee’s first competition – Battle Pork – took place against Wil Pelly, executive chef at Sanctuaria. Lee then went on to compete against Josh Norris of Triumph Grill in a beef-centric cookoff. That competition placed Chef Lee in the semi-finals where he went head-to-head against Alumni Saint Louis executive chef Eric Brenner.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 4.29.47 PMDuring the final competition, Lee and Brenner were charged with preparing a dish that highlighted lobster, as well as Budweiser beer. Lee’s entry consisted of a lobster burger, a Budweiser milkshake and spiral-cut fries served wrapped in beech wood, the same wood used in the Budweiser beer fermenting process (shown above). Contestants in the final round also were required to submit a dessert. Lee’s sweet plate consisted of chocolate hazelnut crunch, chocolate mousse, Concord grape gelée, meringue cooked in a dehydrator and an artful stroke of raspberry puree (shown at right).*

Photo above by Peter Newcomb

*republished from Sauce Magazine