Meet the Winner of the 2019 Meatless Monday Rapid Fire Challenge

September 9th, 2019


On Monday, August 26, three finalists competed to be crowned the Western Foodservice Show Meatless Monday Rapid Fire Champion. Finalists were chosen from a pool of chefs who submitted original meatless recipes and videos. Chef Karla Flores-Ybaceta, last year’s Rapid Fire champion, returned to compete this year and reclaimed her title.

The competition was judged by a panel of experts including (from left to right) Jenny Ross, Executive Chef, Tribest & Consulting Chef, Jenny Ross Living Foods; Seizan Dreux Ellis, Executive Chef, Café Gratitude; Leslie Durso, Vegan Chef and Wellness Expert; and Dana Smith, Campaign Director, Meatless Monday.

The three competing finalists were:

Jodi Taffel, “The Fabulous Bacon Babe”

Mark Angelo Crisostomo, Chef

Karla Flores-Ybaceta, Executive Chef, Mikhuna Authentic Peruvian Cuisine

 

Chefs had 20 minutes to prepare their dishes while discussing the ingredients, flavors, and health benefits. Each chef prepared their favorite meatless dish for the panel of judges. Jodi Taffel, “The Fabulous Bacon Babe,” prepared her Lentil Empanadas, a favorite among her catering clients.

Jodi Taffel’s Lentil Empanadas

Chef Mark Angelo Crisostomo served a Beet Salad with Chopped Endive and Arugula.

Mark Angelo Crisostomo’s Beet Salad

But the dish that made the judges lick their plates clean was from Chef Karla, who also won last year’s bacon-themed competition. Her Quinoa Tamales are a variation of the popular dish and a favorite from her food truck and catering business Mikhuna Authentic Peruvian Cuisine. She serves them with “sarza criolla,” a Peruvian sauce of marinated onions and tops them with her famous Aji Verde, a Peruvian green hot sauce, which she is planning to start bottling.

Karla Flores-Ybaceta’s Winning Quinoa Tamales

After receiving a duo Associates of Science Degree in both Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry from Long Beach City College, Chef Karla studied at L’Ecole Lenotre in Paris, where she received a Grande Diplome in Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry. Before starting her own business, she served as an Executive Chef, training with Master Chef Romain Bertain, as well as a Private Chef for Her Royal Highness Princess Rima Al Saud and the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia.

Congratulations!

Try all the chefs’ recipes this Meatless Monday and let us know how they came out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.