RICHMOND – Fredericksburg restaurant FOODE is the champion of the month-long Virginia is for Lovers Culinary Challenge presented by Virginia Tourism Corporation.
Chef and FOODE co-owner Joy Crump’s chicken and waffles – buttermilk fried chicken served with a golden housemade waffle, whipped maple butter and warm Virginia maple syrup – won the challenge, beating championship rival Horseshoe Restaurant’s Apple, Bacon and Brie Burger with 50.9 percent of the popular vote. More than 33,000 online votes were cast in the competition.
The 2015 Virginia is for Lovers Culinary Challenge kicked off March 2 after a panel of three judges narrowed down the more than 100 nominated entrees to a pool of 32. Arranged in the traditional bracket style, the entrees were pitted one against another, allowing the public vote to push a favorite closer to the crown until only two remained.
Each of the Final Four chefs prepared his or her dish to present to three esteemed judges for tasting notes and opinion in the Culinary Challenge Cook-Off on March 23. Crump’s dish was called “flavorful and juicy” and “phenomenal” by the Cook-Off judges.
As the winner, FOODE will receive a Culinary Challenge Champion plaque and a Champion badge to be used on their website and social media properties. FOODE will also be featured on the virginia.org homepage for one month and featured in posts through the Virginia is for Lovers social media channels. Most importantly, FOODE wins bragging rights of having the best dish in Virginia.
“It’s a community drive in the truest sense of the word: the dish was nominated by someone in our community,” Crump says. “The city of Fredericksburg has really led the charge in getting the word out and our team comes together every single day to make sure the dish is perfect for the folks we serve. Everyone at FOODE would like to thank the city of Fredericksburg for their commitment to highlighting what’s happening in our downtown community. We’re the beneficiary of their continuous effort to celebrate everything Historic Downtown Fredericksburg has to offer.”
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