If figure skating sharpens your appetite for gourmet food, Visit Saint Paul has just the event for you -- Taste of the Championships, a culinary competition to be held during 2016 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships Jan. 15-24.
The event, held by Visit Saint Paul, will feature main dishes from nine St. Paul restaurants: Citizen Supper Club, Great Waters Brewing Company, Kincaid’s, Pazzaluna, Rival House, The St. Paul Grill, Sakura, Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub and Vieux Carré.
“Iconic sporting events like the U.S. Figure Skating Championships showcase our city and our members,” said Terry Mattson, President and CEO of Visit Saint Paul. “These nine restaurants stepped up to support St. Paul in the national spotlight. We know fans will support them.”
The competition was last held in St. Paul in 2011, during the Taste of the Visa Championships. The 2016 version will be judged by 1988 Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano and friends after sampling the entrées on the evening of Wednesday, Jan 20, and Thursday, Jan. 21. Boitano hosted his own Food Network show “What Would Brian Boitano Make?” for two seasons from 2009-2010.
“I’m really excited to be a part of this unique Taste of the Championships promotion,” Boitano said. “It is a perfect pairing of my two loves - figure skating and culinary creativity.”
The dishes will be judged on creativity, taste and nutritional value with a medal for each category. The winners will be announced at the Xcel Energy Center on Saturday, Jan. 23.
The nine participating restaurants and their entrées:
· Citizen Supper Club: “Kiss & Cry” - Sicilian Style sweet and spicy wild striped bass, bulgur wheat, oil cured olives, roasted artichoke, fennel & orange. A 6-ounce-skin-on-filet of wild striped bass is sautéed until crispy. The bulgur is heated with garlic, chilis, roasted artichoke hearts, roasted fennel. It is finished with fennel pollen, orange segments and extra virgin olive oil. $24.
· Great Waters Brewing Company: “’Tano Jump Pork Tenderloin” - 4 oz. grilled pork tenderloin served on a bed of Minnesota Wild Rice and sautéed vegetables including spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, red onion, and tomatoes. $13.95.
· Kincaid’s: “Signature move Seared Ahi” - Togarashi and Sesame crusted Ahi served on a bed of coconut jasmine rice with Thai Curry Sauce. Finished with limes, red pepper and cilantro. $31.95.
· Pazzaluna: "Trip Jump Bell Pepper Risotto" - Braised beef brisket on smoked bell pepper risotto. $28.
· Rival House: "Season's Best" - Citrus broiled salmon, braised spinach, farro with mushrooms. $18.
· The St. Paul Grill: "Triple Axel Seafood Linguine" - Shrimp, Mussels, Sea Bass and Halibut tossed in a Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce with Fresh Linguine. $35.95.
· Sakura: "Cherry Flip Bento Box" - Fresh sashimi and asparagus beef roll grilled with ginger sauce. Japanese style egg omelet and steamed rice and a salad with Japanese dressing. $15 or $25 with souvenir take-home bento box.
· Tom Reid’s: "Waltz Jump Walleye" - Minnesota’s favorite ice-fishing prize, the walleye, is set on a bed of Kale salad and topped with mango salsa. Combined with spicy wild rice you are left with an unforgettable combination of sweet, savory, and spice. $17.95.
· Vieux Carré: "From the Ice Blackened Walleye" - Blackened Great Lakes walleye, ancient grains bar, local honey, collard greens, herb yogurt and chervil. $21.