Yo! A Cook's Off: Part Deux
from the Triangle
Ashley Hess, a junior majoring in culinary arts, has won the "Yo! A Cook's Off: Part Deux" competition
sponsored by the Philadelphia Daily News Oct. 27.
The event was hosted and judged by Georges Perrier, the famous local chef and founder of Le Bec Fin.
Hess defeated Orleans Technical Institute student Clive Brooks in the final match. Both contestants
prepared a lunch for 20 guests, including the media, family members and their culinary instructor
at Brasserie Perrier.
Hess and Brooks worked on their own recipes side-by side in the tight kitchen for five hours while
Perrier watched them for the last two.
Hess' winning piece included goat cheese and arugula ravioli with browned tomato pancetta butter
sauce and lamb chops with truffled risotto, mushrooms, chestnuts, thyme and red wine sauce.
At 1 p.m. the 20 guests, including Fox television's Janet Zappala, WCAU anchor Steve Levy, arrived and took their
seats in the banquet room. Though the votes were split evenly between the two contestants, Perrier and another chef
conferred and made the final decision.
Hess was awarded a Daily News trophy along with a trip to Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and a job offer at Perrier's restaurant.
"I was so excited when I found out I won, especially winning a job in George Perrier's restaurants and learning how to cook with some of the best chefs in the United States," Hess said, "Yesterday I was very proud and glad to have been featured in a three page article in the Daily News."
While Hess is content about her accomplishment, though it does not go without giving praise to people who have helped her along the way.
"I would thank all my teachers at Drexel for teaching me the foundations and basics of Culinary Arts and then I would like to thank Roberta Adamo, Eileen Watkins, and Ed Vadden, the chefs and managers who run Penne Restaurant and Wine bar on Penn's campus. They are incredibly smart and I couldn't have done it without them."
Hess found out about this competition through Director of Culinary Arts program Francis McFadden. McFadden actually had entered Hess in the first competition, "Yo! A Cook's Off," last March but lost in the second week by Chef Walter Staib at City Tavern in Old City, according to the Wed., Nov. 3 article in the Philadelphia Daily News. Her loss was over the failure to include rice or pasta on a plate of salmon and vegetables which is apparently a fatal mistake in the restaurant world.
The competition began in August when the Daily News asked their Yo! Food section readers and local culinary students to write a letter explaining why they would want to enter this competition. Dozens of letters were submitted but the Daily News chose 10 finalists to compete.
Hess will return to Brasserie Perrier kitchen to learn more about cooking before joining the new Perrier restaurant, Brasserie Perrier at Boyd's, located at 18th and Chestnut streets, in the next few months.
Yo! A Cook's Off: Part Deux
from the Drexelink
Ashley Hess (left), a junior culinary arts student, won the Philadelphia Daily News' second annual student chef contest
“Yo! A Cook's Off: Part Deux.” Renowned chef and restaurateur Georges Perrier (right) served as judge in selecting
the culinary apprentice who will join the staff of his Brasserie Perrier at Boyd's, a restaurant opening soon inside the
Chestnut Street store.
In the final showdown, Hess prepared lunch for 20 guests at Brasserie Perrier. She won the job with her goat
cheese/arugula ravioli appetizer and lamb chops entrée featuring truffled risotto, mushrooms, chestnuts and
thyme in a red wine sauce.
In addition to winning the job, Hess received a weekend trip for two to Las Vegas and a trophy.
Contest winner Ashley Hess with Chef Georges Perrier.
Almost Famous CHEF
Ashley Hess participated in the 2005 Regional Almost Famous Chef Competition September 29, 2005.