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Potomac Chef Takes the Title of Mason Dixon Master Chef | People

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Potomac Chef Takes the Title of Mason Dixon Master Chef
People, Restaurants

Dennis Friedman, Executive Chef and Owner of Bezu (9812 Falls Road, Potomac), a French-Asian fusion restaurant, was named Mason Dixon Master Chef at the finals of the Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament Monday, September 13, 2010. Friedman went head-to-head with Kenneth Plante, Executive Chef of Red Star, (906 South Wolfe Street, Baltimore) at the culmination of the four-month (16-week) tournament that began in May.

The Belvedere in downtown Baltimore was packed Monday night with over 130 in attendance to watch the chef show down. The energy was intense as the chefs prepared their three-course meal for the judges. Each chef was required to use the same proteins, fuse two different regions/styles together for each course and use cheese in at least one course.

Friedman showed off his skills with a crispy dorade with fresh made fettuccini, lemon soy beurre blanc (Italian/Asian fusions), venison, bacon veal jus with a cinnamon essence (Italian/French fusion) and pineapple and ricotta sushi brulee (Hawaiian regional/French fusion).

Plante took a different approach with his pan seared dorade with ginger risotto and Thai lemongrass broth (Thai/Italian), rack of venison Robert over whipped potato with Japanese plum sauce and pan pickled baby carrots (English/Japanese/German) and chipotle chocolate brownie, caramel and mojito chantilly (French/Mexican/Cuban).

As the judges deliberated, they themselves found a new challenge – they couldn’t decide! Two of the three judges gave the chefs the same score. It was only a .32 difference that gave Friedman the title.

“There really was no favorite. Both chefs had been consistently producing amazing top-quality dishes throughout the tournament.” stated Karen Folkart, co-coordinator of the tournament. “They both had nothing but good things to say about each other – you could see a real respect between the two.”

Both chefs walk away with nice prizes. Friedman won a prize package that includes a trip to Las Vegas, a Wisconsin Cheese Making Experience with sponsor Emmi Roth Kase and the official Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament Championship Jacket, plaque, and gold medal. Plante and both sous chefs also received a Wisconsin Cheese Making Experience trip courtesy of Emmi Roth Kase.

People, Restaurants