Thanksgiving leftovers are usually reserved for boring turkey sandwiches and week-long re-heatings, but a few Houston chefs are transforming the ways in which we use scraps this holiday season. The Falliday Leftover Throwdown sprung from the mind of Lyle Benot, Underbelly’s sous chef Lyle Bento, who challenges a number of fine dining chefs from all over the city to take Thanksgiving leftovers and create brand new entrées, side dishes, and desserts. Chefs from Underbelly, Uchi, Triniti, Goro & Gun, Bar Boheme, Beaver’s, Cove, Eatsie Boys, l’Olivier, Latin Bites, Phoenicia, Prego, Roost, and an assortment of other restaurants are listed as participants for the competition.
All the proceeds from the culinary event will benefit the Orange Show, a nonprofit visual arts organization. “The Orange Show is about visionary art, so we really want to see what these chefs are made of,” said Jonathan Beitler, Director of Communications for Orange Show. “The only rule is that at least eighty percent of the ingredients must be [made with] fully-cooked traditional Thanksgiving dishes.”
As for what the chefs will prepare, that is left up to their imaginations. “Home cooks can get their hands on liquid nitrogen and learn to sous vide,” said Philip Speer, Uchi’s culinary director of operations. “I don’t want to give away too much about what we’re going to serve, but we really want to open the frame and inspire people to think about leftovers in new ways.”
Two chefs will be awarded a Golden Gobbler Turkey Trophy at the Throwdown – one based on the judges’ combined votes and the second from attendees’ combined votes.
Tickets to the Falliday Leftover Throwdown cost $65 and can be purchased through Eventbrite.com.