Chicago Chef Wins Culinary Competition at Belgian Beer Festival

Chef Cosmo Goss (middle-right) prepares a dish with his trusty team. Photo credit: Mike Johnson, Fest Pics

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — In true Belgian-style fashion, everybody ate well at this year’s national “Hop Chef” competition, especially at Chef Cosmo Goss’ table.

Brewery Ommegang and SAVEUR Magazine’s 2013 “Hop Chef” season ended on August 3 in Cooperstown, NY with a fierce competition between five regional “Hop Chef” winners. In the end, Goss, ofPublican Quality Meats in Chicago, edged out his competitors with his dish of hopped pancetta tesa and tuna with pine nuts, dill, cr├¿me fra├«che and lemon paired with Hennepin, Ommegang’s award-winning farmhouse saison.

Goss’s competition included regional winners Chef Nick Macri of Southwark in Philadelphia, Josh Smith of The Franklin Café and Michael Lombardi of The Salty Pig, both in Boston, and Mark Graham of Max London’s Restaurant and Bar in Albany, NY. Each of these chefs won the ‘“Hop Chef”’ competition in their respective cities in order to compete at the finale in Cooperstown. Saturday’s competition elicited intense focus from the chefs while the exclusive group of festival attendees who secured admittance through a Facebook lottery clamored after the imaginative dishes.

“The best of the best came to Cooperstown and they pulled out all the stops,” said Simon Thorpe, President and CEO of Duvel USA/Brewery Ommegang. “Each chef and dish could legitimately and proudly have been awarded top honors. The thoughtfulness the chefs brought to matching just the right cuisine elements and treatments with the nuances and ingredients of the beer was extraordinary.”

Goss won a prize package including a 12-month position on SAVEUR Magazine’s Taste Makers Board, a showcase at StarChef’s International Chefs Convention 2013, and a showcase area with Brewery Ommegang at SAVEUR’s Summer BBQ 2014. Co-sponsors and culinary leaders VerTerra, StarChefs, Shun, Lodge, Cuisinart, GelPro, Epicurean, T-Fal, and Bioletti provided secondary prizes.

“Hop Chef” is part of Ommegang’s Great Beer Deserves Great Food┬« initiative — dedicated to the advancement of great beer as a perfect complement to fine fare. This year the competition added another dimension — raising funds to benefit a cause that assists the communities in each participating city. In all, worthwhile causes in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and Albany received more than $14,000 in total to benefit initiatives ranging from mural revitalization to cooking programs.

While the Hop Chefs battled it out, more than 2700 beer lovers enjoyed the rest of the festivities at “Belgium Comes to Cooperstown,” Ommegang’s annual beer festival. In its 10thyear, BCTC featured more than 75 breweries and importers pouring Belgian and Belgian-style beer, a cigar tent, local artisan cheeses, and the Duvel Art Contest hosted by Brooklyn artist, Mike Perry. The festival also featured a Ferris wheel, live music, fireworks, and on Fridaynight, a six-course seated VIP dinner.

The tickets for next year’s BCTC event go on sale April 1, 2014 at noon.

About Brewery Ommegang

Brewery Ommegang opened in 1997 to craft-brew fine Belgian-style ales. The brewery creates six ales year-round, as well as an imaginative range of seasonal and specialty ales. The beers have national following by connoisseurs of fine beer and are distributed in 45 states and internationally. Ommegang is located on a 136-acre farmstead in Cooperstown, New York, USA and offers free daily tours and inexpensive tastings as well as a 100-seat café, a well-stocked brewery store, and an annual calendar of public events.

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