Serving Winners: Local Finalist in Nationwide Cooking Competition | Local News
A talented culinary assistant represents Wisconsin and he has mouth-watering dishes to share.
Blake Sykora, Indianhead Insurance Agent and Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Representative by day, works in the moonlight as a self-proclaimed chef and foodie. Sykora is one of four finalists in the 2021 Nationwide Blackstone Great Griddle Off, a cooking competition aimed at finding undiscovered cooking prodigies who use Blackstone products in their creations.
The acclaimed dish Sykora entered in the contest is a Wisconsin cheesesteak made with locally sourced bratwurst sausage, peppers / onions, beer cheese, sauerkraut, and bell peppers served on a hoagie.
Sykora said he entered the contest a few weeks ago to find an outlet to express himself and his hidden talent for cooking mouth-watering edible artwork.
“I have always had a passion for cooking,” said Sykora. “When I was younger, I always thought about becoming a chef. I love to cook outside and discover new ways of preparing food and saw this as a way to continue to pursue this passion and see how I stack up against other chefs across the country.
The Blackstone Large Griddle is a competition run by the industry-leading hotplate manufacturer and features four categories, with the winner of each category competing for the Gold Spatula prize. A condition of the competition is that all entries must be made on a Blackstone hotplate.
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Out of 180 entries in the lunch / dinner category, Sykora came out on top and now faces the other three finalists in a final round of cooking and voting.
While the competition isn’t over yet, Sykora has already won a bundle that includes various Blackstone accessories, a spot in the Blackstone cookbook, and a chance to virtually cook with a celebrity chef TBD.
With his eyes riveted on the golden spatula, Sykora said he hopes to bring the award back to Wisconsin and show the nation just how talented the state’s talented leaders are.
“I hope to put Wisconsin on the map as a culinary destination,” said Sykora. “Obviously we’re known for our cheese and our beer, but we also have some great, versatile chefs here. You don’t have to go to the coast to find quality and tasty food.
The final round of voting for the Blackstone Great Gridd Off 2021 is open until Thursday and the winner will be announced on Friday. You can vote now on blackstoneproducts.com.
PHOTOS: Blake Sykora – Blackstone Great Gridd Off Contest Entry