The Chef Challenge started in Syracuse, NY as a collaborative, community-based marketing experiment. Within four months the team was bringing boxes of “mystery,” local farm-goods to a new restaurant 2-3 times per month to serve a mystery meal to 30-40 guests per event.
They evolved with the event, focusing on pushing culinary boundaries, elevating cities like Syracuse, NY, closing the gaps in our food systems by making connections between chefs, farmers, and consumers, and promoting sustainability within our food systems . Each event challenges chefs and guests to go out of their culinary comfort zone and to clean up our food system.
Recently, the Chef Challenge paid a visit to our very own culinary team and delivered a box full of ingredients in which our chefs were to derive a menu from. Lavender and fennel were the key ingredients requested to use in someway in each course.
The culinary team went to work in the kitchen to create 11 separate dishes to tantalize the taste buds of all. Special shout-outs to the team: Chef De Cuisine Jae Longo, Pastry Chef Anne Robinson, Kitchen Manager Eddie Rappone and culinary assistants Jae Gwodz and Asa Bogart.
Our Bar Team never likes to be left out of a challenge and created a selection of lavender inspired cocktails.
At the conclusion of this 11 course small plate feast, guests were asked to list their favorite courses. The crowd pleasers:
Chicken Thigh Confit on Fried Chicken Skin
Fennel Lavender & Sage Soup
Risotto with julienne farm fresh vegetables
Each month SKY Armory hosts a 'pop-up dining' event where our culinary and bar team collaborate to create a 5 course small plates meal with each course paired with a featured beverage.
The 11 Course Menu
To see more of what our culinary team can do, join us for our monthly pop-up dining experiences!
Photos: Alyssa Flood Photography