This past Sunday I attended my first ever cook off at Jimmy’s No.43. I was so excited to attend this duck of at Jimmy’s. I have always had an interest in food and trying different kinds. I enjoy duck and grew up eating duck.

Jimmy’s No.43 is a really cool restaurant that is located in a basement type setting in the lower east side located at 43 East 7th Street. The restaurant as an old time feel with lots of wine barrels and neat adornments on the walls. The lighting is dim with a cool downtown local bar vibe. The turn out for the duck off. A lot of locals came out and of course the NYC foodies!

The duck off was to benefit Food Systems NYC. Food systems of NYC pride themselves on being a a membership based organization designed to foster communication and cultivate community amongst various stake holders and professionals working across the food system. They are big supporters or organic and locally grown food as well as up and coming chefs/foodies a like. A portion of the proceeds of this even go straight to their net work which helps them promote healthy eating, local farming and an overall healthier lifestyle through increased access of better foods for everyone.

I was greeted at the door by friendly staff and led to the appetizers of bread and cheese. Free beverages were provided for the attendants. Jimmy’s also made a duck recipe with apple – was like a duck apple cake and tasted good as an appetizer before the contest. The cooks were set up in the back room of Jimmy’s. They all had delicious duck goodies in front of them on tables.We all took turns going table to table in the packed room.

The first contestant was Amateur “Cook-off King of Queens” Adrian Ashby he has competed in this challenge three times. He created a duck doughnut. This duck doughnut contained frois gras, chocolate, flour, duck bacon and powdered sugar. His creation looked like a chocolate doughnut hole. It tasted like a doughnut too!

The second contestant was a cook named Susan Palmer who writes a cooking blog named The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen. She is a brooklyn native and keeps up a blog on all her cooking adventures, recipes and food pictures. She made a bacon duck on top of a hard boiled egg halve with mustard and fois gras. It had great presentation and the cook was so friendly with a great spirit.

The third contestant was Marja Sansom (aka “DumplingDiva”), The Kitchen Club, brought duck and ginger dumplings. She fried the dumplings in front of us and added some string like vegetables on the side with sauce. This was one of my favorites because I love dumplings and I liked the taste of the duck with the ginger- so sweet and juicy.

The fourth contestant was amateur returning chef Michele Lamort. She made a duck ravioli flavored with lavender. I love pasta so this was naturally another one of my favorite duck samplings. It had a great texture and the duck was well cooked. The lavender gave it a little interesting pop of flavor in your mouth.

The fifth contestant was Gina Keatly from Nourishing NYC. She made a chocolate maple glaze on duck with home brewed beer over risotto. It had the best presentation of all the chefs.

To vote everyone was given a bean to place in a cup for their favorite duck recipe. The three categories were peoples choice, originality & creativity winner, presentation and best overall. The judges were Ed Yowell of Slow Food NYC, Paul Denamiel of Le Rivage, and Wen Jay Ling, local CSA advocate. They judged each contestant and the entries based upon regional sourcing and seasonality of ingredients, creativity, execution, appearance, and taste.

The Peoples Choice Winner was Susan Palmer, aka The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen with her Fois Gras Deviled Eggs.

Originality & Creativity Winner: Adrian Ashby and his Chocolate Fois Gras Frosted Donuts with Duck Bacon Crumbles Presentation Winner: Gina Keatly with her chocolate maple glaze on fuck with home brewed beer sauce over rissoto. The overall win wen to Susan Palmer aka The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen for her great use of duck and overall look and taste.

It was such a fun afternoon at Jimmy’s No. 43– 43 East 7th Street ! I look forward to the next cook off !  You should go check out the fantastic food they have a great downtown atmosphere! Check them out at for events and their menu.

– Rosey

Jimmy’s No. 43
43 East 7th Street
New York, NY 10003