3rd Annual Hyatt Good Taste Series Midwest Regional Culinary Competition

Last week, 9 Hyatt Chefs served 18 dishes to 5 illustrious judges and over 40 reception attendees to compete in Hyatt’s 3rd Annual Good Taste Series Midwest Regional Culinary Competition.

Shrimp Two Ways by Hyatt Regency Cleveland’s Robert De La Ree: Purple and Gold Califlower Crudo with a Shrimp Salad, Topped with a Frisee Nest, Olive Poached Shrimp Perched on Top and Drizzled with Herb Oil and Garnished with a Roasted Bread Stick

The Good Taste Series is an innovative competition Hyatt has organized in an effort to support and promote it’s culinary talent.  The competitions are for Hyatt Chefs (not Executive Chefs) only and taking place around the country in twelve different brackets.  Hyatt Regency McCormick Place had the honor of hosting the Midwest bracket.  The chefs were asked to prepare a Sustainable Seafood Dish and a 2nd dish that was consistent with Hyatt’s food philosophy, Food: Thoughtfully Sourced, Carefully Served.


  • 3rd Place: 1-years subscription to a food magazine or cookbook of choice
  • 2nd Place: Shun Knife
  • 1st Place: Trophy, $500, and an All Expense Paid Trip to the Finals in Mexico, not to mention bragging rights.

Candied Beet Root and Goat Cheese Cheesecake atop a Crunchy Pumpernickel Crust Topped with Spicy Salmon Ceviche with Coconut-Lavender Cream and a Toasted Jalapeno-Dill Macaron.

Our judges included:

  • Sandy Goldberg: Sandy Goldberg is a clinical nutritionist and a regular contributor to NBC5 Chicago News since 1994 in her regularly bi-weekly series “Food for Thought.”  
  • Gale Gand: Gale Gand is a pastry chef and partner of the one year old restaurant Spritz Burger, a collaboration with The Hearty Boys, and partner in the Michelin one star restaurant, Tru, both in Chicago.  She was the host of Food Network’s long running show “Sweet Dream”s, and author of 8 cook books.  
  • Julie Gordon: Julie is a food & housewares blogger for InspiringKitchen.com using her 14 years of experience in the housewares industry and sharing it with newlyweds, homeowners, interior designers, and realtors to build the kitchen of their, or their client’s needs. 


    Grilled Quail Served Over a Pistachio Almond Milk & Goat Cheese Risotto Topped with a Door County Cherry-Rose Compote by Hyatt Regency Milwaukee’s Chef Gil Amador-Licea

  • Katie Cahnmann: Katie is the Owner and Editor-in-Chief of Know You Know Events, one of Chicago’s most eclectic events calendars ranging from fashion, food, charity, sports, music and more.  Katie is also the Food & Drink Editor for Chicago Woman Magazine, the premier platform for professional women in Chicago.
  • Doug Roth: As a third-generation restauranteur, Doug has helped startups and established restaurants like Tap Room Gaming, Sage Vertical Garden Systems, L3 Hospitality Group, and Goose Island Brewery.  Doug has designed many nationally recognized concepts including Bistro 110, Bistro 100, Blackhawk Lodge, Don Roth Restaurants, and the award-winning Red Moon.  

The contestants:

  • Armando Diaz – Hill Country Resort & Spa
  • Gil Amador-Licea – Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
  • Robert De La Ree – Hyatt Regency Cleveland
  • Steven Sims – Hyatt Regency Cincinnati
  • Tracet Sortman – Hyatt Regency Columbus
  • Matthew Hunt – Hyatt Regency Chicago

3rd Place: Jose Fontanez – Hyatt Regency McCormick Place


Pan-Seared Cap Steak Served with Chive and Horseradish Pomm Puree, Sweet Potato Croquet, Roasted Heirloom Baby Carrots, and Sweet Creamed Corn with Bordelaise Sauce.


Citrus & Dill Seared Salmon Served with Watercress & Roasted Parsnip Puree, Green Peas, Crispy Dill, Shrimp Mousseline Stuffed More Mushroom with Citrus Burr Blanc











2nd: Place: Brandon Drummond – Grand Hyatt Washington D.C.


Bahn Mi Cure King Salmon with Pickled Daikon & Carrot, Shaved Jalapeno, Soy Pearl, Spicy Sauce, and Coconut Pineapple Cracker


Maryland Grass-fed Gouchuiang BBQ Bison Tenderloin, Bull’s Blood & Gold Beer Leather with First Pick Summer Vegetable Salad











1st: Place: Patrick Clark – Hyatt Regency O’Hare


Spiced Leroy Fjord Salmon Tostada with Black Bean Spread, Might Vine Pico de Gallo, Avocado Lime Crema & Micro Cilantro


Ancho Honey Glazed Indiana Duck Breast with Chipotle Grits & Grilled Peach & Corn Relish

Congratulations Patrick! We know you will represent the Midwest well in the finals in Mexico!IMG_5825


From Left: Dr. Sandy Goldberg, Julie Gordon, Patrick Clark, Katie Cahnmann, Gale Gand, and Doug Roth


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