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Blind Kitchen Boston: Chef Tanya Nicole vs Chef Calixto David

Mary Staes

Mary Staes

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Mary Staes

“Blind Kitchen” is a quirky food competition series where local chefs recreate each other’s signature dish, but they can only determine what the dish is using their senses of taste, touch, and smell. Each chef is blindfolded during a down-and-dirty guessing phase and when the masks come off, the heat is on with both chefs cooking what they believe is their opponent’s creation. The chefs are competing for bragging rights and a donation to their favorite charity.

In this episode, Tanya Nicole, personal chef and culinary instructor, and Calixto David, chef/owner of Cooking with Cali, face off to see who can recreate each other’s signature dish. 

Each recreated meal will be judged on:

  • Percentage of correct ingredients 
  • Similarities in flavor and plating
  • Re-creation as a standalone dish

Chef Tanya Nicole: Mofongo

Johnson & Wales graduate Tanya Nicole is a personal chef and nutritionist who has been cooking since she was 12. A self-proclaimed “food gypsy,” Chef Tanya holds a degree in Culinary Nutrition and considers food nourishment for the brain, body, and soul.

Signature Dish: Mofongo

Plantains, chicharron, chicken thighs, calabaza broth

Chef’s Choice Charity: Rosie’s Place

Founded in 1974, Rosie’s Place is the first women-only shelter in the United States. By providing food, shelter, community outreach, and more, Rosie’s Place helps thousands of women a year through its wide-ranging support.

Chef Calixto David: Jibarito

Born in Puerto Rico, Chef Cali moved when he was one month old and grew up cooking with his Mom. The Cooking with Cali owner has continued to share his culinary skills within the community by teaching kids how to cook different latin flavors. He considers his style “old-school Puerto Rican.”

Signature Dish: Jibarito

Carne asada steak, plantains, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, mayo ketchup with garlic, yucca 

Chef’s Choice Charity: Boys & Girls Club of Boston

The Boys & Girls Club of Boston provides a safe and supportive space for kids to nourish their physical and mental well-being through innovative programs meant to help them realize their full potential.

Meet the Judge: Natalie Rodgriguez

Natalie Rodriguez is the chef and owner of Nuestra restaurant, located in Worcester, Massachusetts. Puerto Rican herself, Chef Natalie’s restaurant puts a modern twist on classic Puerto Rican cuisine.

Want to see who wins?

You can watch this episode, “Blind Kitchen: Spice,” on the Very Local channel. You can stream all of the episodes of “Blind Kitchen” for free. 

Looking for more Boston eats…

Check out our guide to the best international food stores in Boston and learn more about the history of America’s first chocolate mill in Lower Mills. 

Stay Tuned

Our new show “Boston Rob Does Bean Town” is coming in April. Follow @verylocalboston on Instagram and Facebook for updates. 

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