Tuesday, July 27, 2010

banh mi throwdown

Monday night was the notorious banh mi throwdown at Cafe Gutenberg. If you live in RVA but missed the hype, check out here and here. In short, Patrick of Boka Truck claimed to have the best banh mi and was challenged RVAFoodie, aka Jason, who found a competitor to take on Boka Truck. Cafe Gutenberg's chefs Jen and Garrett agreed to both put their skills to the test and host the event and Jason pulled together a full event that included official judging and audience taste-testing of a pork banh mi and vegan banh mi. The decision of the judges? Both were delicious but Cafe Gutenberg won both categories. I agreed with the judges- Gutenberg's pork banh mi had better balance and their vegan option actually made me want to eat tofu (though Boka was at a serious disadvantage trying to get me to eat mushrooms, sorry.)

The best part of the event was just bringing so many people together. The crowd of 50-some people were packed together, trying to see the demonstration from the chefs and grabbing sandwiches to try. I made new friends by sharing napkins with strangers and stealing bites of sandwiches from people I had just met.

The event also benefited to great charities- Chefs Move to Schools and Lunch Boxes 4 Life; both organizations promote healthy foods in schools.

Judges (left to right):
Robey Martin of Style Weekly, An Mekong of Mekong,
Chef Ellie Basch of Savor and Jason of RVAFoodie

Cafe Gutenberg's vegan tofu banh mi

Boka Truck's pork banh mi

Patrick, of Boka Truck fame, passing out sandwiches

The competitors: Garret, Jen, Patrick

Surprise ending:
Cupcakes from Pearl Cupcakes for Jason's birthday

I tried to include links and photos of all the wonderful people and businesses that contributed to this amazing event, but somehow I can't seem to find my pictures of the macaroons from Petites Bouchees! They were my first ever and the texture of the macaroons was much lighter and crunchier than I imagined without actually being hard. Thanks to all who contributed, I had a great time and this type of event is what makes Richmond such a vibrant city!


Anonymous said...

typically, i go by my real name: Robey Martin :)

Katherine said...

Sorry, corrected!