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'Frankenfood' finds ‘A Sampling of the Second City’ on Spike

Frankenfood judges Tony Luke Jr. and Josh Capon
Frankenfood judges Tony Luke Jr. and Josh Capon
"Photo courtesy of Spike, used with permission”

On tonight’s first episode of “Frankenfood” titled, “A Sampling of the Second City,” hears the introduction give the description of “Frankenfood,” as a mash up of original and unexpected food combinations and ingredients, resulting in delicious dishes … or awful misses.

Fun chef Josh Capon is in the North Side of Chicago with the sandwich king, Tony Luke Jr., where hundreds of cooks have come out to the Rockit Bar and Grill where they are hoping to create the next food craze and win $10,000. All entrants have their own reason why they want to win the $10,000; to put a down payment on a house and lots more reasons.

As each contestant will offer their food creation to Josh, Tony and guest judge, Billy Dec, owner of Rockit Bar and Grill. The final two will be served at Rockit Bar and Grill where the public will decide the winner. The winning food will be featured on the menu in time for the tenth anniversary of the multi-award winning bar and grill.

The first entry from Joe Giannini, a kennel owner is from his Italian family, who are in the construction trade and feed their team each weekend. His creation is called Manzagna, a manly lasagna. It contained; marinara sauce, noodles, ricotta cheese, mini cheeseburgers and mini chicken sandwiches, but as much as all three judges loved the dish, it was not technically a Frankenfood, so Joe could not compete further. So sorry!

A student, Tony Balesteri was next with his creation called Taco Hell. It consisted of; a pork sausage/bacon shell, black bean puree, pickled red cabbage, pico de gallo and a slice of avocado. Because the shell was made from ingredients other than flour or cornmeal, it was considered a Frankenfood and received three yes votes.

Party planner Adriana Bella, who was just a jiggly as her creation, offered a Jell-O mold containing peanut butter cups, brownies and potato chips, went right into the barf bucket from all three tasters as a Franken-fail.

The next concoction called the Wedding Crasher contained; baby food yogurt, beef and bourbon was presented by cook, Paul Guzauckas. This also made it to the barf bucket. Sorry Paul, who was decked out all in orange, as a warning signal.

Kim Westlock, a hospitality trainer was the next entrant, and a rather loud one at that. He presented Flaming Monkey Brains and set it aflame upon lifting the cover, he then proceeded to set his arm on fire and ate fire too. He got the idea from an Indiana Jones movie. It is illegal to eat monkey in Chicago, so he created a grouping of dough balls stuffed with several different things. Tony called it dough balls stuffed with crap. However, they contained either, blue cheese, Canadian bacon or dried blueberries; others contained combinations, like bacon, chocolate peanut butter candy and cheddar cheese, and yet another level contained the combo of; pork sausage, grape jelly, sour cream and jalapeno peppers. However, a crazy as it was, he won the votes to go through to the next round. Josh told him to stop playing with fire.

Bartender Jack Teich was next. He is getting married in October, but with two grooms, there is no father of the bride to write a check, so he hopes to win for the wedding expenses. His creation was the Buffalo Bob containing; blue cheese cheesecake, buffalo sauce, panko breadcrumbs, poultry seasoning on a celery stick like a lollypop. Tony gave it a no because it did not have the taste of chicken, but Josh and Billy said yes, so he went on.

The last person was Aleithea Ellis, a stay-at-home-mom, who presented her concoction; Herhemings Sandwich. It was made with; red-white & blue cornbread, bacon, turkey tails, mac & cheese, catfish fillet and collard greens salad. It was a yes and will now compete for top two.

With four choices, the judges had to choose the top two for the restaurant competition, and the winners were Jack’s Buffalo Bobs and Tony’s Taco Hell.

Next, the winners met with the chefs to tweak their recipes. Josh suggested that the Buffalo Bobs contain some part of a chicken, to keep with the Buffalo tradition. As for the taco, it lacked cheese, and he suggested a cheese topping and sour cream as a finishing touch. As the two cooks were busy making large amounts of their food, an expert from Sonic, Mackenzie Gibson, the director of culinary innovation stopped by. After tasting both entrants, she was on her way. Tony added beer cheese and avocado to his taco, and Jack added crispy chicken skin to his Buffalo Bobs. The customers were anxious to taste the two new Frankenfood creations.

When the votes were tallied, the winner was Tony’s Taco Hell, the “Frankenfood” $10,000 winner whose food item will appear on Rockit Bar and Grill’s menu to celebrate their ten years in Chicago’s North Side.