Watertown Chef Judging National Cooking Competition in the Windy City

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Charlie Breitrose

Chef Mike Fucci will add some new dishes to the menu at The Talk, including appetizers such as this dish: scallops with tomatoes and olives.

Charlie Breitrose

Chef Mike Fucci will be a judge at the national Culinary Fight Club competition in Chicago.

Watertown-based chef Mike Fucci will be hitting the road to share some of his culinary expertise as judge of a national chef’s competition. 

Fucci, who runs Chef Mike’s Kitchen in Watertown, will be part of the panel of judges for the Culinary Fight Club Fest in Chicago on Aug. 19 and 20. Among the other judges is former football great and food entrepreneur Bo Jackson.

The competition in the Windy City brings together the winners of competitions across the nation. Twenty chefs begin the competition and are narrowed down to the four for the final table.

No stranger to the Culinary Fight Club, Fucci has been a competitor and now looks forward to being on the other side of the table. He said he won’t hold back.

“I’m tougher than most judges,” Fucci said. “We are looking for taste, plating — an effort to make the plate look good, and flavor combinations. I am also looking for the right doneness.”

The final quality can be a challenge because the dishes are not served to judges immediately. The cooks must plan for their creations to taste good and be warm when the panel digs in.

Fucci said he also hopes to be wowed by one of the chef’s creations.

“I want something that grabs my attention and makes me sit up and see something different,” Fucci said.

He judged at the Boston competition where he said he was delighted by a perfectly cooked ribeye.

Culinary Fight Club helps support Fight2Feed, an organization that partners top restaurants with food trucks to provide service and support to hungry men, women and children in their communities.

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