Mushrooms Alongside Culinary Fight Club Winning Dish

Culinary Fight Club (CFC) has gone from being an underground industry secret to one heck of a big deal, with sponsors such as Reinhart Foodservice, Samuel Adams, Smithfield Foods, and Hard Rock Cafe to name a few. CFC is hosted in 17 cities across the country and anyone from home cooks to Executive Chefs can compete.

Chicago Event Fight Clubbers experienced the category, “Pork – more than just bacon,” on March 22.

Where: The Chop Shop
What was cooked: Pork
Who cooked:

  • Chef Lance Avery, Big Fork Brands (two-time CFC champion)
  • Chef George Phelps, ChiliRocks Chili
  • Chef Tony Balestreri, Kimski
  • Chef Ross Johnson, Carriage Greens Country Club
  • Matthew Morin, Beer director for Chef Rick Bayless’ restaurants

The Judges:

  • Chef Michael Fiddler, Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovations
  • Chef Dylan Lipe, The Budlong Hot Chicken
  • Alex Shebar, Yelp Chicago Community Director

The Winner:

“I called it Pork & Mushrooms.  It was really an incredible dish, beat out 4 other chefs. It was a simple Asian inspired noodle dish with pork belly and mushrooms basically.”
– Lance Avery, Big Fork Brands, two-time Culinary Fight Club champion


Pork & Mushrooms

Servings: 6 – 8


Pork & Mushroom Consommé
4 pints water, cold
1 lb. ground lean pork
6 egg whites
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch herbs, chopped
1 bunch oyster mushrooms, chopped
1 bunch maitaki mushrooms, chopped
1 bunch shiitake mushrooms, chopped
2 links Big Fork Bacon Sausage, chopped

Pork Belly & Mushrooms
1 lb. pork belly, cut into medium dice
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 onion, quartered
1 bunch herbs, whole
1 bunch oyster mushrooms, whole
1 bunch crimini mushrooms, whole
1 bunch trumpet mushrooms, whole
2 links Big Fork Bacon Sausage, chopped

Sautéed Mushrooms
Remaining mushrooms, chopped

Udon Noodles
Green onions, sliced thin


Pork & Mushroom Consommé
Combine all ingredients in a large pot and stir until water mixes with the ingredients. Over medium heat cook until it comes to a simmer. Reduce to a slight simmer and continue to cook for 45 minutes. Strain with a strainer and cheesecloth. Season with salt.

Pork Belly & Mushrooms
Season pork belly with salt and pepper. Add all ingredients to a pressure cooker and cook for 30 minutes. Release pressure.

Strain liquid from mushrooms and meat, reserve. Chop Mushrooms. Sear 3/4 of the pork belly in a hot cast iron skillet. Portion out rest of pork belly to use with Noodles.

Sautéed Mushrooms
Sauté any remaining mushrooms with oil and salt. Cook until soft. Reserve.

Udon Noodles
Boil the udon noodles in salted water for 4 minutes. Strain. Toss noodles into reserved pork belly liquid. Toss in unseared pork belly, seared pork belly, mushrooms (both sautéed and pressure cooked, and fresh green onions. Serve warm.