Vegas Food Truck Upstart vs. Legendary L.A. Chef

Vegas Food Truck Upstart vs. Legendary L.A. Chef

Tailgate U - Sn 1/Ep 2Tailgate U - Sn 1/Ep 2

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Chefs from the nation's greatest college football rivalries are put to the test when apprentice Suzy Davis of the Las Vegas food truck Stripchezze takes on legendary Chef Neal Fraser of LA's Redbird in a beachside cook-off. This is Tailgate U. Presented by Dr Pepper.

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- Yo, what's up? I'm Chef Meach. As another college football season kicks off, we're setting out to find chefs from the nation's greatest rivalries. We will join them as they go head-to-head in what better than a tailgate cook-off? This is Tailgate U. - Alright, yo, what's up? I'm Chef Meach. We're back again for another episode of Tailgate U and this one's gonna be a big one. We have Chef Neal Fraser from right here in LA. This dude has done tons of competitions and then my apprentice this week is Chef Suzy. She drove her truck all the way down from Vegas and she's killin' the food truck game there. There's one thing, Suzy's not used to competing. Neal is. Imma take Suzy under my wing, and give her a little chi-co. Here we go. - I'm Suzy Davis. I'm from Las Vegas, Nevada. I own a gourmet food truck that does gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. I always wanted to have a food truck, I mean, since I was a little kid. Like, I thought what a great concept to have a restaurant on wheels. I've always been in some sort of restaurant business. Just I've never been in the kitchen. Like, if I were to cook at home for my husband, it's usually a TV dinner. On there, it's different. I have my steps. I make an awesome grilled cheese sandwich. That's what I know. That's what I do. College football tailgating is huge in Las Vegas. We go out to the football stadium but I do tailgates inside the truck. We have the doors open, it's a fun time. It's a party. I'm definitely creative with flavors. I love pizza so I made a pizza grilled cheese. I love macaroni and cheese so I made it into an egg roll. I'm very nervous for the competition. Being able to create somethin' without ever doing it before? Once I do it, I'm fine but it's doing it for the first time is where I'm not really good at that at all. - [Chef Meach] Let's go see what my apprentice can do. - Chef Meach! Hi! - Suzy! What's up? How you doing? - How are you? Oh, bring it in, bring it in. This your truck? - Yeah, come on in. - Let's go. Let's go. - This is it. - Alright. Thank you for inviting me on. So what do you do here? What's your thing? - All kinds of grilled cheese. I do macaroni and cheese egg rolls. I do a Korean cheese steak. - Can we make a Korean cheese steak? - Yeah, oh, we can make that. - Alright, let's do that. Let's make that right now. - Alright. This is a french roll. - Nice. - We use provolone cheese on there. - Nice and melty. - We have some marinated rib eye. - What do you marinate it in? - Garlic, ginger, gochujang. - Oh, I can smell it. - All the Korean spices make it sweet and savory. So then we use provolone cheese. We actually melt ours on the grill. It melts it a lot faster. - And it's also picking up all the flavors that are already in the grill. - Correct. So on a food truck it's speed of service, you know? So you have to hurry up. - I like your style with that. - So if you put it right there - - Gettin' all the flavor off that grill onto the meat too. - Yes. So you always want the cheese gooey. Always want the cheese gooey in the sandwich. - What's the point of cheese if it's not gooey, right? - So then we got some coleslaw with a little bit of cilantro. - And what's this? - Secret sauce. It's a sauce from the kimchi and then we make it a sauce without the actual kimchi in it. - That's super creative. That's awesome. This looks amazing. - There you go. - Yum. I'm getting all that flavor from the kimchi. The beef was tender. The cheese had a nice crust on it from the flat top and the sweetness and spiciness, everything is really working together nicely. So I see what you can do. You have a good palette, you know how to build flavors, what we need to do now is come up with a game plan so you can win this competition. - Alright, I trust you. - Alright, cool. Let's do this. Let's go. Imma let you in on a little secret. One of the ingredients that we're using on your cook-off tomorrow is ice cream. - Ice cream. - Yeah. - Okay. - What's up? What's up? - Hey! - What can you tell me about Salt & Straw? - We're a small batch, handmade local ice cream shop. We source all of our ingredients from local partners and farmers. The first thing we should taste is our sea salt with caramel ribbons. So it's a salted ice cream base with dark burned bittersweet caramel. - The caramel's really, - It's amazing! really deep, right? - So this is our bone marrow and smoked cherries. So the bone marrow adds this great velvety texture. Sort of lets those flavors sing on your palette a little longer. - It's good. - But the smoked cherries are so good. - So good. - I still don't understand how I'm gonna cook with it. - You trust in me? - I trust you. I trust you. - Got some ice cream right here for ya. - Ice cream, ice cream, ice cream. - Thank you. - Thank you so much! - [Chef Meach Voiceover] Tri-tip steak is a popular cut in California. This will be another one of the secret ingredients for the cook-off. - Have you ever used tri-tip? - No, I have not. - Alright, so you're gonna treat that like any other steak. I want you to sear that on both sides. Let it rest and then what do you use for your marinade? - We marinate it in gochujang, Dr. Pepper, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar - - Have you done any, like, sweetness in there? - Uh, brown sugar, sorry. - Alright, you're gonna build this sauce right here, your marinade, in that same sauce pan. - But now you would put ice cream with steak and that doesn't necessarily go together. - That sounds crazy, right? So let's turn this ice cream somehow into a sauce. Are you familiar with a bechamel? - A little bit. - It's flour, butter and you add cream. But now instead of adding cream - - So the ice cream will be the cream. - Exactly. And then you fold in any type of cheese. So how would you balance out these flavors yourself? - With maybe a coleslaw? - So the slaw itself would actually cut through a lot of the richness. It'd cut through the cheese - - So it's pretty much kind of what I have. - Yeah. - It's almost the same thing. - Alright, plating. Let's use round for the bread. We're just gonna layer the beef and then your cheese sauce is gonna be nice and gooey and then on top of that, you'll do a nice, tightly balled slaw and that's the presentation part of it. - That's what wins me points. - You will get points over that. So, you feel confident about this? - Yeah, I think so. I think I can win. - I think you got this. - [Chef Meach Voiceover] And now, the legend. - [Chef Neal Voiceover] My name is Neal Fraser. I'm the Chef Owner of Redbird Restaurant. - Redbird came about eight years ago. We thought it would take six months, it took us six years to open. It was a real labor of love. Hanging on by our teeth the whole time. I mean, I think Los Angeles definitely has the best produce market of any city in America, if not the world. We just have really long growing seasons. One of my favorite things to do is to go to the farmer's market and you know, kind of find ingredients and bring 'em back and create a dish with it. I love being inspired by ingredients and I often tend to feel like I come up with better dishes on the spot than I do kind of planning things out. I was a semi-professional bike racer, realized that I had to find a trade to fall back on. I went to the first restaurant by my parents' house. I knocked on the door. I said, I wanna be a chef. They're like "Okay, you start right now." And I literally started my voyage right then. When it comes to cooking, it's important to me that I know how to cook. You know, that I'm not just a chef with a clipboard. I do find myself very competitive. Maybe to a default sometimes. I don't like to lose. I've really only lost one cooking show I've ever done. Everybody likes to win. I know I like to win. Food to me is about passion. This job's about passion. You're only as good as your last service. You have to show up to work everyday with the same passion as you did the day before. - Alright, yo, I'm Marcus Meacham, aka Chef Meach and this is another episode of Tailgate U and boy, is this gonna be a big one. On this side, I have legendary chef, Neal Fraser of Redbird right here in LA and on this side I have Chef Suzy from Las Vegas running the food truck game. And over here we have Chef Michael, the Spice Guru. Not only is he a pitmaster but he sources some of the finest spices and rubs from farms across this country and he is going to be judging them on creativity, presentation, and this is all about food so, taste. And they have to use three secret ingredients from our Tailgate U pantry: tri-tip, Salt & Straw ice cream and Dr. Pepper. - [Male in Crowd] What? - [Chef Meach] What do you guys think about that? - Sounds delicious. - You good? - Yeah, I'm good. - You got this? - Yeah, I got this. - Alright, are you ready? - I'm ready. - Are you ready? - I think so. - Three. Two. One. Go! - Alright, which ice cream is that? - I have bone marrow smoked cherries. - Whoa! Which one are you gonna go for? - Same. - He's tryin' to bite your style. You let him do that? - You can't take my ice cream. - You gonna let him do that? - There's two containers of it in there. You can't possibly use it all. - We're about five minutes in. You should have a pretty good idea what you're gonna do. Suzy, how's it goin' over here? Whatchu workin' on? - I'm trying to cut this cabbage. - [Chef Meach] Neal's over here workin' his pepper game. - But this cabbage is getting the best of me. - [Chef Meach] You ever use Dr. Pepper when you cook? - Yeah, I sometimes braze pork belly and Dr. Pepper, help the carbonic acid breakdown the proteins. - [Suzy] I just know it tastes good. - I'm not a chef, I don't know how. - What are you doin' right now, Suzy? Behind you. - Learning how to hold a pan. We don't do this kind of cooking on the truck. - Suzy, how's your heat on your steak? - I don't know. - Neal's so calm and relaxed. Is this like your kitchen at home, Neal? - My kitchen at home is not amazing. - [Chef Meach] Comin' up to 20 minutes. - Shhh! - [Chef Meach] Alright, so Suzy went on her truck and got some kind of ingredient. I don't know what it is. - It's a secret. - [Chef Neal] It's the hip ingredient. - Here we go. A little simmer goin' on. Neal is very calm. He's a little too calm. - I'm freaking out. - Thank you for saying that. - You can put your pan down there too. Look at him. He bit your style, now bite his style. - Now he took my ice cream so I get to take his - - I got your ice cream. - The clock is ticking. - No garlic, huh? - Hey, this is a tailgate, Neal. We're not in the air-conditioned kitchen that you're used to, Neal. - Sweet and sweet and more sweet. - Neal hates sweet things. - Do you have any vinegar? - She might've used it all. Watch your onions over here. Don't let anything burn, Suzy. - No, they're caramelizing. - Alright, I hear you. - That's flavor. I heard that somewhere. - [Chef Meach] What are you workin' on now? - [Chef Suzy] A roux for my cheese. - She's makin' Cheese Whiz. If I saw that on a menu somewhere, I'd order that. This smells good already. - Tryin' to make it taste good. - Alright, here we go, down to two minutes. And Neal is adding more cheese to his potatoes. Alright, the meat's goin' on. How's that cheese sauce tasting? - It needs more cheese. - Neal's over here plating. - You like that tailgate style? Usually I do this on a bumper but today they gave me a table. - Make sure it's nice and gooey. Put that all in there. Tiny bit of onions on that. - This is only one plate, right? - One dish. Don't stress out, Neal. - 20 seconds. Put it right over the top, right over the middle. Just let is cascade down. Oh, look at that. Exactly. - [Chef Suzy] Little slaw on top. - [Chef Meach] Awesome. Suzy's doin' a little clean-up. - I got to look chef-y here. - That's okay. - Flag. Flag on the play. - [Crowd] Four. Three. Two. One. - [Suzy] Done. - Alright, so now we're gonna have Chef Michael try these dishes. Alright so first, Neal, what do you have goin' on in here? - A little spice rub tri-tip, some potatoes on the bottom with a little parmesan cheese, peppers and onions and the sauce is made with Dr. Pepper, smoked cherry bone marrow ice cream, bit of vinegar. - Delicious. - Let's step over here and try my apprentice, Suzy's, dish. - [Chef Meach] So the end game on this dish was a Philly cheese steak. - Yeah, I used the bone marrow smoked cherry ice cream to make a cheese sauce with smoked gouda. Then I cooked the tri-tip with somewhat of Korean spices I took out, something out of the truck to just marinade and then I have a little bit of slaw on top. - Fantastic. - [Chef Meach] Cool. Alright, so what did you like about Neal's dish? - The tri-tip had a nice sear on the outside and a nice pink on the inside. The cherry flavor, it was very subtle and I think that came with the acidity of the Dr. Pepper sauce. The cheese on the potatoes really added a little bit of that saltiness. The flavors really came out. - So what did you like about Suzy's dish? - As someone who grew up in Philadelphia and has eaten a lot of cheese steaks, I was really excited about it. The flavor of the meat was fantastic. The roux was a really interesting take. It had all the flavors I was looking for. It really brought out the ice cream and you could also still taste the subtleties of the Dr. Pepper. - Creativity, who won that one? - Creativity, I would give it to Suzy. - Who won in presentation? - I would give it to Neal. - And then taste, the last one, the final one? Alright, Chef Michael, we went over everything. You've figured out who the winner is. - This was tough but at the end of it all in terms of tailgating, I'll have to give it to Chef Neal. - Chef Neal. Chef Neal's our winner. - Congratulations. - [Chef Meach] Good job, Neal. Good job, good job. - [Chef Neal] Thank you. - Suzy, it's alright. It'll be alright. It'll be alright. Alright, so that's it for this edition of Tailgate U. We'll see you guys at the next one. Peace, we're out.

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