Celebrating the 2021 Detroit Food Fighters

For the past 21 years, the Detroit Free Press dutifully announced their highly anticipated list of Best New Restaurants and Restaurant of the Year. However, this year, the Freep chose to highlight those chefs and restaurateurs who stepped up to positively impact their communities. These ten chefs and restaurateurs, introduced as the inaugural class of Detroit Free Press/Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Food Fighters opened their kitchens and their hearts to feed countless frontline and hospital workers, seniors, struggling families, and the homeless this past year. 

Much to my surprise, I was honored to be chosen as one of the 2021 Food Fighters! As the lead chef for Make Food Not Waste, we fed thousands of Detroit families for Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays. And, in that same spirit of community, I co-founded Taste the Diaspora – an initiative celebrating foods of the African diaspora while celebrating Black chefs, farmers, and food makers in Detroit. 

With the distinct honor of being a Food Fighter, each awardee is celebrated through a special one-night-only dinner event at their respective establishment, a program referred to as the Top 10 Takeover. My Takeover Dinner will be held on Thursday, August 26th at Batch Brewing in Detroit. Tickets go on sale on August 6th here. (Find my event under “In the Business of Food” – the name of my food consulting business.)

This event provides me another opportunity to highlight the amazing, selfless organizations, businesses, and food growers that I get the pleasure of working with everyday like Detroit Food Academy and Nurturing Our Seeds Farm

This smoked gouda & black pepper biscuit recipe is just a sneak peek of what diners will get to experience. Enjoy!

Smoked Gouda & Black Pepper Biscuits

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 10 tbsp frozen butter
  • ¼ cup smoked gouda cheese
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup half n half

Preheat oven to 425 °F.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Using a grater, cut butter into mixture until it begins to look like cornmeal. Toss so that flour coats the butter pieces. Add smoked gouda and black pepper and toss to mix all dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk and half half.

Make a well with flour mixture and slowly add milk mixture into the middle. Using a fork, slowly start to incorporate the dry ingredients into the milk. Continue to mix until combined ONLY.

Drop dough onto a lightly floured surface. Do not knead the dough, but gently fold the dough unto itself. Fold one way. Turn then pat down dough. Then fold it again and pat down. Repeat this 4-5 times. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out to desired thickness. Cut with a small biscuit cutter. Butter the sheet pan or cookie sheet and place biscuits touching each other but not crowding. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with more melted butter. 

Pair with Detroit Food Academy sweet pepper jam that can be purchased here

Tickets for the remaining upcoming Top 10 Takeover dinners can be purchased here.

Congratulations to all of the Food Fighters recognized!

Ederique Goudia is the Metro Detroit Content Creator for Taste the Local Difference.  Contact her at: [email protected]

Image Credits: Detroit Free Press, Make Food Not Waste