Earlier this summer The French Culinary Institute really put on the dog, hosting the 3rd Annual Hot Dog Competition where its staff and students competed in a weenie fest benefiting Friends of The French Culinary Institute, an organization founded in 1990 to help chefs-to-be reach their gastronomic goals.
An all-star panel of foodie judges were on hand for the event, including Top Chef Master’s Anita Lo (Annisa); Johnny Iuzzini (Jean Georges); Mark Ladner (Lupa and Otto); Alain Sailhac (The French Culinary Institute) and Jim Leiken (DBGB Kitchen & Bar).
Various challenges included: The Sabrett Slider Challenge, which had FCI staff vying for three days paid vacation, won by Dave Arnold; Thirty Inches of Fury, which challenged students to devour a 30” hot dog the fastest, won by Mina Ayoub; The Battle for the Blender, which had FCI students competing to create the perfect hot dog beverage pairing, won by Jeff Weiss; Beyond the Mustard invited contestants to create an original hot dog condiment, won by Glen Thomas.
The only thing better than a hot dog is what you put on it—here are a few of our favorite condiments that were featured at the event!
Spicy Caramelized Vidalia Onion, Pineapple, Mango Relish
By Glenn Thomas (WINNER!)
¼ cup butter
2 Vidalia onions, peeled, sliced thinly
1 pineapple, skinned, cored and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 mangos, peeled and diced small
1 ½ tbsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. fresh chives cut into small rings
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup Heinz tomato ketchup
½ cup white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a medium size pot over a medium high flame, add butter and thinly sliced Vidalia onion and cook 5-7 minutes till golden brown and caramelizing but not burning.
Add the white wine and reduce by ½ then add the pineapple and cook for about 2 minutes, then add the mangos and cook for another minute or so.
Next add the ketchup and chili powder and mix thoroughly to make sure the chili powder and ketchup in evenly distributed.
Finally, add the chopped herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.
By Jessica Young
Yield: about 1 Cup
1 cup + 1 ½ tbsp. tamarind concentrate
2 tbsp. Samba Oelek chili paste
1 tsp. harissa
½ tsp. ginger
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
salt (to taste)
Peel ginger and use a microplane or small grater to grate finely.
Mix all ingredients together.
Serve at room temperature.
Spicy Onion Relish
By Anette Kreipke
Thinly slice and sauté onions until caramelized.
Deglaze with balsamic vinegar.
Season with sriracha, cumin, salt and pepper to taste.
Keep warm till service.
First published as an Online Exclusive for Next magazine.