The Chicago stop of the ment’or BKB Foundation Young Chef Competition Series was hosted at BOKA Chicago on Thursday night with guests enjoying an intimate evening of competition while enjoying delectable dishes and paired wines from The Spire Collection.  Esteemed Chef/Judges Gerard Craft (Niche), Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot Bistro), Richard Rosendale (Rosendale Collective), Giuseppe Tentori (GT Fish & Oyster), Rick Tramonto (Tramonto Cuisine) and Lee Wolen (BOKA) were on hand to judge the competitors’ final results.

Chef Gavin Kaysen lent his creative narrative to the competitors in the kitchen throughout the process after which each Chef Competitor and Commis presented their dish in front of the entire audience.

Chef Mark Garcia (Winnisook Club) along with Commis Kathryn Eurich won first place, a $10,000 cash prize and opportunity to stagier at the restaurant of his choice anywhere in the world. His winning dish:

Mexican Inspired Wagyu Beef: Seared Ribeye, Braised Short Rib Tostada, Black Bean Puree, Petite Mushroom Tamale, Glazed Vegetables, Avocado-Dill Crema, Mushroom Bordelaise

Chef Tim Tokarz along with Commis Esther Ha won second prize, a $5,000 cash prize and opportunity to stagier at the restaurant of his choice anywhere in the world.  His winning dish:

Ribeye with Charred Japanese Eggplant Puree, Braised Cabbage, Miso Marrow Custard, Pate Brisee with Sauce Veronique

The competing chefs are scored on excellence in overall taste (50 points), presentation (30 points) and kitchen organization (20 points).  Competitors had a total of 2 hours and 35 minutes of cook time, followed by 3 minutes to plate their dishes.  Points are deducted if the teams go over their allotted time span.

The 2015 Young Chef Competition Series is made possible by our generous and supportive partners, The Michael & Nancy Burgermeister Family FundAll-CladBragard USA, The Chef’s Garden, Invest HospitalityNespresso, Nordaq FreshParis GourmetThe Spire Collection , Steelite International and Williams Sonoma

For more information please visit

Follow us at:

Facebook @mentorBKB

Instagram @mentorbkb

Twitter @mentorbkb


Media Contact:

Men’tor BKB

Jaimie Chew-Director of Communications & Events

Email: Website: