Humphrey Edges Kelly In “Duel Chef Showdown” Tournament

Humphrey Edges Kelly In “Duel Chef Showdown” Tournament

By Jerry Miller

Executive Chef Chris Humphrey of Fellini’s Restaurant edged Executive Chef Christian Kelly of Maya Restaurant, 159-141, in the Elite Eight of the “Duel Chef Showdown” Tournament on Monday, September 11 at Tin Whistle Irish Pub.

The victory marked Humphrey’s first win in three total appearances at the “Duel Chef Showdown” tournament, Charlottesville, Virginia’s premiere culinary competition. The “Duel Chef Showdown” features two superstar chefs, eight total courses, one common ingredient and a non-profit benefactor.

Each chef prepared four courses with “apples” as the common ingredient in each course. Roughly 80 guests separated into two seatings (6 pm and 8 pm) voted for their favorite dish following each course.

Humphrey, who recently purchased Fellini’s Restaurant on Market Street, had a commanding, 82-50, lead after the 6 pm seating. While Kelly logged the most votes at the 8 pm seating (91-77), he was unable to overcome the 6 pm deficit.

“I guess the third time is the charm,” joked Humphrey, who once worked for Kelly at Maya Restaurant. “This win feels great, man. Christian is a helluva chef and competitor.”

Humphrey’s second course – peanut-crusted trout served with apple bacon kimchi farrotto, raw apple, cilantro and Bold Rock brown butter emulsion – garnered the most overall votes of any of the eight dishes.

Kelly’s fourth course – Carter’s Mountain donut bread pudding, pecan streusel, apple butter caramel and spiced apple chantilly – was the second most popular overall dish of the competition.

With the victory, Humphrey advances to the Final Four of the “Duel Chef Showdown” tournament, where he will face Curtis Shaver, the executive chef at Hamiltons’ At First & Main. Shaver topped Executive Chef Reggie Calhoun of Commonwealth Skybar, 165-119, to advance to the Final Four.

The “Duel Chef Showdown” and sponsors Tin Whistle Irish Pub, I Love CVille, and VMV Brands raised $500 for the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad on Monday night. The event marked the 10th “Duel Chef Showdown” competition.

The next “Duel Chef Showdown” features Executive Chef Tucker Yoder of the Back 40 Restaurant against Executive Chef David Morgan of Tavern & Grocery. The competition is scheduled for Monday, November 6 with seatings at 6 pm and 8 pm.

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