Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

July 6, 2013

Country club chef wins Summer Motion challenge

ASHLAND — Jason Oesterreicher, the executive chef at Bellefonte Country Club, was in it to win it.

Oesterreicher and sous chef Billy Roegner whipped up meals fit for kings and queens during the Summer Motion Chef Challenge on Saturday at the bandstand.

A few hours before musicians would take the stage for the day, the BCC chefs were matched against the formidable Ashland Fire Department fighters Jared Chamberlin and Matt McAllister. The AFD duo were last year’s Chef Challenge champions.

But the country club chefs showed a little more cooking chops than the firefighters, who presented a great challenge with some unusually good selections.

In the end, though, judges chose the country club duo’s food as the best in the challenge.

Chefs were asked to use baby spinach and melon of any kind as the secret ingredient. They infused that into meals that had the judges lips smacking.

Summer Motion President Cade Mahan, who knows a bit about outstanding cooking himself with his day job at Applebee’s, served as an educated emcee for the challenge.

The judges were Ashland Mayor Chuck Charles and The Independent editor Mark Maynard and his wife, Beth.

Oesterreicher admitted to being “a little nervous” before the competition.

But if he had any butterflies, the judges never knew it.

“The food was outstanding by both teams with a slight edge to the country club chefs,” Charles said. “But the firefighters put up a good challenge for them. It was almost too close to call.”

Spoken like a true politician.

“I’ll let you know how everything was when I get through licking my plate,” said Mark Maynard, his wife shaking her head beside him. “I thought the Bellefonte menu was a little more unique, and the presentation was great.”

“I really liked the firefighter’s (cool melon) soup and their (spinach and melon) salad was very good,” said Beth Maynard. “But the Bellefonte chefs’ salad was the difference. It was wonderful and so unique. I’ve never had anything like it.”

Here’s a description of the salad: A melon terrine accompanied by fresh greens nestled in a parmesan tuile vessel naped with citrus vinaigrette and orange segments.

“I wanted to do something different,” said Oesterreicher, who has been the executive chef at the country club since February. “They were all culinary techniques. Using simple techniques but making it look phenomenal.”

Oesterreicher complimented Roegner, his sous chef. “I wouldn’t trade him for anybody,” he said.

McAllister wasn’t disappointed. “We did the best we could,” he said. “I was happy with what we produced.”

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