Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen was the final stop for the judge crew. We began with Kelly English & ended with Andy & Michael. This amazing experience was bookended by our hometown boys. I was electrified with pork & pride by the time we got to AMIK. Regardless of how proud I was of all three of them I still kept in mind that I was there to do a job & be an unbiased judge. Honestly it wasn't difficult to be unbiased. Every chef there brought their A game & produced piggy dishes that were insanely delicious. But I digress.
The look & design of the menu itself was super cool & practically jumped off the table. It popped. As we judges gathered around the tables the chefs & sous chefs were finishing off our plates. There was this beautiful creative energy that was palpable & almost intoxicating. The plates themselves were works of art.
Everything they put out was outstanding but for me the spiedino & the chocolate blood torte were some of the best bites of the day. The spiedino was rich, succulent, savory & earthy. The torte had the mysterious mineral note that came from the blood which really worked well against the bittersweet lusciousness of the chocolate. I was blown away by this entire experience. Cheers to all the chefs who competed! But a special shout out goes to Andy & Michael & Kelly English. You all did Memphis so proud!