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Culinary Fight Club Brings Competition to Reinhart’s Spring Show

Kay’s Kitchen chef Dan Kueblebeck (holding trophy), alongside sous chef Andy, win the Culinary Fight Club Amazing Pantry Race. Also pictured are (left to right) “cheferee” Anthony Martorina and competitors Sara Johnson and Dustin Pallanch.

The intensity was set to high as Dan Kueblebeck finished saucing the shrimp for his taco plate and Anthony Martorina, the competition “cheferee,” called out the time remaining.

Kueblebeck, the chef at Kay’s Kitchen, along with chef Sara Johnson of Coyote Moon and Dustin Pallanch of Rock Elm Tavern, were showing their skills during Reinhart Foodservice’s spring show April 18 as competitors in Culinary Fight Club, a food sport event series of which Reinhart is the title sponsor. The challenge was the Amazing Pantry Race, with each chef able to bring three of their own ingredients and then race through the show to acquire the others from among 20 designated vendor booths. 

It was Kueblebeck’s shrimp tacos with a mango Thai chile sauce in an eggroll wrapper that most impressed judges Greg DeMarco of Foodservice News and Mary Levinski, ProStart instructor at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School, who awarded him the Culinary Fight Club trophy. Pallanch, who made a pork medallion dish with diced apples and sweet potato puree, took second, and Johnson came in third with her surf-and-turf-style dish of scallops and steak.

Created three years ago, Culinary Fight Club produces live cooking competitions to highlight local culinary talent, ingredients and resources. Each event benefits Fight2Feed, an Illinois-based nonprofit that redistributes food from restaurants and food distributors to help feed the hungry.

“We are excited to continue to grow our relationship with Culinary Fight Club,” said Eric Cronert, Reinhart’s VP of marketing and communications. “Partnering with organizations like Culinary Fight Club allows us to be part of the food sports movement and local food scenes all while helping support a great cause, Fight2Feed.” 

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