This Sunday, October 19, at 10 pm, the Perk in Perkasie is putting two professional chefs to the test in a live cooking contest. The “Back of the House Brawl” competition pits chef Justin McClain of the Standard Club against the Perk’s chef Jeff Strohm.
The rules of the “brawl” are as follows: the chefs will be assigned the same three secret ingredients, and must make at least two dishes using only the pantry items on hand and all three of the secret ingredients. They’ll be given 15 minutes to take inventory of the kitchen and to set up their stations, the timer will be set, and then they’ll have one hour to create their dishes. Three judges will then taste the dishes and declare a winner.
Two hosts will be on site, one in the kitchen providing commentary and one in the front of the house talking directly to spectators. There’s even a live feed from the kitchen, so viewers can eat and drink while watching the cook-off in real time.
The Perk is hoping to do this once or twice a month, with different chefs and different judges.
About the Competitors:
Chef Justin McClain is from Apollo, PA. He received his training at Johnson & Wales and is the chef at the Standard Club in Doylestown. His favorite dishes use fresh pasta, cured meats and local produce.
Chef Jeff Strohm is a native of West Rochkill, PA. He learned the ropes at the Culinary Institute of America and is now a chef at the Perk in Perkasie. Strohm isn’t picky: when asked about his favorite dishes, he said, “a little bit of everything.”
About the Judges:
Nick DiRocco is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts and worked at the “original fish market,” at the Westin Hotel in Pittsburgh, before moving to the Westin Port Royal in Hilton Head, South Carolina. He spent some time working at Cappie’s Park Tavern in Quakertown (now Becker’s), before following in his family’s footsteps and becoming a lineman for PECO energy.
Summer Greenwood is a Bucks County native and sous chef at the Standard Club. She loves to cook Southern and French-inspired cuisine using fresh, local produce.
Dan Wenger has been a chef at the Perk for nearly a decade. He graduated from Pennridge High School and went to college at Bloomsburg. He’s married with a four-year-old son named Levi.
The Perk is located at 501 East Walnut Street, Perkasie, PA. For more information, call them at 215.257.8483 or see their website.