If you were a chicken, the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena was a dangerous place to be last Friday.
But if you were a cook, gunning to show your prowess with the country’s most popular protein, you couldn’t have picked a better venue.
The third annual Foster Farms Fresh Chicken Cooking Contest, which pitted six finalists (two each from California, Washington state and Oregon) against one another for the grand prize of $10,000, plus a year’s supply of Foster Farms chicken.
It was my third time judging this contest, and each year the recipes seem to get better and better.
My fellow judges were: Chef John Ash, host of KSRO-AM “The Good Food Hour”; Lynn Char Bennett, test kitchen director for the San Francisco Chronicle; Chef Ken Frank of La Toque in Napa; and Liam Mayclem, host of CBS’ “Eye on the Bay.”