Forbes Under 30 Summit kicks off with Under 30 Food Festival at Kimmel Center
New York’s Joseph “JJ” Johnson took home the Best Young Chef title from Forbes’ Under 30 Food Festival, which kicked off this week’s Forbes Under 30 Summit Sunday night at the Kimmel Center with more than 750 attendees.
New York's Joseph "JJ" Johnson took home the Best Young Chef title from Forbes' Under 30 Food Festival, which kicked off this week's Forbes Under 30 Summit Sunday night at the Kimmel Center with more than 750 attendees.
Judged by Hanson's Issac and Taylor Hanson alongside Forbes Magazine editor Randall Lane, the competition ultimately went to Johnson, of Harlem's The Cecil, for his goat dumpling served with peanut piri piri sauce, which beat out seven other chefs' dishes.
"He took a pedestrian dish — like a dumpling — and blew our minds," Lane says of Johnson's winning dish.
The People's Choice award, meanwhile, went to Boston Urban Hospitality's Christopher Coombs, who prepared a duck confit grilled cheese served with a tomato soup. And while that wasn't a winner for the judges, festival-goers almost couldn't get enough.
"A landslide among hundreds of Forbes Under 30 attendees who voted," Lane says. "People devoured his duck grilled cheese sandwich."
Other highlights included John Lasater of Hattie B's Hot Chicken in Nashville, who cooked — what else? — hot chicken, as well Chef Jeff Mahin's uni-studded squid ink pasta, which he described as having "every allergen known to man" in it.
La Marina's Kelvin Fernandez, meanwhile, whipped up some crispy arepas and steak, which actually was, as the chef says, "the dish I made to beat Bobby Flay" on Food Network's Beat Bobby Flay. Regardless, they were apparently no match for Johnson's goat dumplings.
Dessert, which was not judged, came from New York's Tache Chocolate, with offerings that included french caramel kisses, coconut and watermelon chocolates, and beer and pretzel caramels.
Interestingly, there were no Philadelphia-area chefs present among competitors. Philly's own Kriss Mincey, however, did provide some live entertainment throughout the evening.
The Forbes Under 30 Summit continues through Wednesday, Oct. 7 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.