Denver Chef Brings Home a Win in Brewery Ommegang HopChef Competition Finals
Denver chef, restaurateur, and Heroes Like Us founder Jensen Cummings traveled to Cooperstown over the weekend to compete in the championship round of the Brewery Ommegang HopChef Competition. HopChef is the brewery’s nationally acclaimed chef competition that celebrates a community of beer and food lovers who put beer at the head of the table. A collection of hand-selected chefs from cities across the states are challenged to showcase their skills in pairing Brewery Ommegang’s Belgian-style ales with a signature dish. Ales are sipped, plates are cleaned, and judges deliberate as HopChef brings a fun, approachable event right to the palates of beer and food lovers.
The competition was all thrills, no frills, and Puddles the Clown even announced Jensen Cummings as the winner in song
Cummings competed in the qualifying round at last year’s Great American Beer Fest, where he cooked against Denver chefs Kyle Foster (Colt & Gray) and Jeff Osaka (Osaka Ramen, Twelve). At the time of the qualifier, Cummings was rapidly gaining popularity for his meatball concept known as Slotted Spoon, which has now become one of his specialties and most recognizable dishes to date. His winning dishes in both qualifying and championship rounds did in fact include his signature meatballs. The championship dish? Brewery Ommegang Witte paired with Tender Belly Pork Meatball, saison yeast fermented kimchi, Centennial hop spiked Sriracha, and lager wort soy.
The competition was all thrills, no frills, and Puddles the Clown (referenced in video below) even announced Jensen Cummings as the winner in song. Cummings mentioned that he had a blast to be a part of it. “It was a lot of work,” he says of the preparation to fly his famous meatballs to Cooperstown, “but I had a lot of help and support to get me there to compete, which always makes it worth it; super glad I could bring home a win for Denver, I have lots of people to thank when I get back.”