3rd Annual John DeBella Comfort Food Fest March 4, 2010

On March 4, 2010 the 3rd Annual John DeBella Comfort Food Fest was held at the Cescaphe Ballroom in Northern Liberties.400 invited guests won a call in contest and sampled comfort food creations made by 12 of the area’s top chefs as they compete for the 3rd Annual John DeBella Golden Spoon Award.

The idea for the Comfort Food Festival came to DeBella when he was driving home from a meal at a fine restaurant. He thought, “What do the top chefs in the city fix themselves when they’re hanging around the house? What’s their comfort food?” He called public relations expert Nicole Cashman of Cashman and Associates to see if she was interested in working with him on a comfort food tasting event with MGK. She was, and the Comfort Food Fest was born.
Lisa DeBella and Justin Wineburgh. Lisa who is still in the real estate business, and will be forever is also looking into various fields to follow her dreams on the side (sorta like me). I advised her to start a blog and write about her experiences. One of the first stops for me was Chef Robert Legget (last year’s winner) Cuba Libre where he created a meal that was inspired by a TV dinner as he had his all dinner and dessert on the same dish. It was an explosion of flavors that wasn’t my favorite as I wasn’t a fan of the Fois Gras Ice Cream, just was odd to have it with my spicy entree.
Jay Nolan, Jill Schoenfeld and Jesse Stein enjoy
Kildare’s Brian Duffy’s goulash and potato with crab meat salad. (2nd choice by PhillyChitChat Mike & I)
Lucky Strikes Christy Aldrich and Melissa Shonley.
My favorite dish all night as well as half the folks I polled including Mike and I. The Lobster Pot Pie by Chef Justin Weathers – Cescaphe’ Ballroom presenting Atrium at the Curtis Center
Sous Chef Scott Schoeder and Chef Mark McKinney Cantina Dos Segundos
3rd choice by PhillyChitChat (Mike & I)
With their crispy terrazzo meatloaf enchiladaThe Three Amigo’s will be on the loose this summer: Ray Evers, Justin Wineburgh and Brett Rosenbloom
AND THE WINNER IS: Again what do I know about food if it’s not a cupcake or burger as Chef Robert Legget, Cuba Libre won again this year; this time;with his TV Dinner of Hickory smoked kobe beef shortrib chilli, Foi Gras Ice Cream, Fried Cornbread Cookie, Pasilla Chocolate Sauce. (Because I gave up sugar for lent I didn’t eat the fried cornbread cookie with chocolate. Maybe that’s what I was missing.)
Chef Robert Leggets, WMGk’s John DeBella, NBC10’s Dave Warren, Diane Warden, Mainline Magazine, Lisa DeBella, super sweet wife of John and looking to follow a 2nd act career and Dan Fein, WMGK’s Promoter
Thanks to all the Chefs and Restaurants:
Chef Robert Legget (last year’s winner) Cuba Libre
Chefs Daniel Stern and Steve Lamborn – MidAtlantic
Chef Justin Weathers – Cescaphe’ Ballroom presenting Atrium at the Curtis Center
Chef Peter McAndrews Modo Mio
Chef Brian Duffy Kildare’s Irish Pub
Chef Michele Mazza – Il Mulino at the Trump Taj Mahal
Chef Terrance Clarke – Lucky Strike Lanes
Chef Mark McKinney Cantina Dos Segundos
Verdad Restaurant
Tequila Bar (Chef: Nick Farina)
Chef David LaForce – Alma De Cuba
Chef Michael Infarrari – Mia at Caesar’s Atlantic City