Blackbird's Ryan Pfeiffer, the Reader's Bryan Burda, and Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice Credit: Photo by Chris Hurd

We came, we saw, we ate. And ate some more.

Sixteen of Chicago’s best chefs—from restaurants such as Topolobampo, Dos Urban Cantina, and Analogue—prepared 
16 incredible dishes at last week’s Key Ingredient Cook-Off at Venue One in the West Loop. Each one contained one of four chosen ingredients: chorizo, plantains, achiote seeds, and tomatillo. 

Attendees and our panel of experts tried them all—in between plenty of beer and cocktails—and voted on their favorites. In the end, there could be only two winners:

  • Ryan Pfeiffer of Blackbird won the Crowd Vote award for his tomatillo chicken eggs with spring mojo verde and almonds.

  • Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice earned the Critics’ Pick award for his plantains plato ropa vieja Cubana.