We all know that feeling of looking at the object of our affection, and experiencing a warm, loving feeling, followed by butterflies in our stomach and excitement to enjoy time with them again. First we put our hands around their warmth, then we put our nose close to the rising steam of the bowl, and breath deeply, sighing with satisfaction. Ramen completes us.
There’s no denying that ramen is one of every foodie’s top obsessions, as we are always on the hunt for that “perfect bowl.” Is there a perfect bowl? To what depths will we search for the secrets to the trifecta of noodles, broth, and toppings? And who is to objectively say that any one bowl sits atop the other, crowned with the glory of being the best in the world?
One Sacramento individual, Tyler Williams of Jungle Bird, has no qualms about rallying the search for the best local bowl of ramen. He is bringing together some of most recognizable ramen-loving chefs around Sacramento to throw down the gauntlet for a second time, at the upcoming The Great Ramen Showdown at Jungle Bird.
We couldn’t resist calling Tyler up to get some of the details to share with everyone before the event. The FIRST thing you should know: tickets sold out in 1 minute flat last year! And this year, we wanted to give you fair warning so you can stay poised to drop $30 for a chance to taste all 6 ramens, and enjoy special drink offerings from Jungle Bird’s owner and bar manager, Buddy Newby, on this epic night. Read on for the deets:
When: March 12th from 6-10pm. PLEASE BE ADVISED! TICKETS ARE LIMITED TO 65, WHICH IS AT CAPACITY. This is a super limited event for the lucky 65. 21 and over *only*. Tickets go on sale Tuesday February the 26th at 11am. Get ready.
Where: Jungle Bird 2516 J St. Sacramento, CA, Baby!
Who: There are 6 competitors:
- Jason Azevedo of Alaro Brewing Co. Chef Jason took home the crown last year.
- Billy Ngo of Kodaiko Ramen (not yet open).
- Tony Brown of Tankhouse BBQ.
- Scott Ostrander of Origami Asian Grill.
- Noah Mansfield of The Other Side by Track 7 Brewing.
- And Eric Sarmento of Tiger 700 Block.
Why: Tyler of Tankhouse BBQ, Ten Ten Room, and Jungle Bird said, “We wanted to do something along the lines of a cocktail competition, but food centric. Ramen already ties into our food style at Jungle Bird, and is one of the most popular food items in town right now. We’ve got top chefs in town to participate ,and get people excited to attend. We will have a panel of three judges, which includes our North American Food Representative, Azumi, Business Owner, Kimio Bazzet, Chef Patrick Mulvaney, owner of Mulvaney’s B&L, and local Chef and Business owner, Toki Sawada of Binchoyaki Izakaya Dining.” Ramen Heads unite!
There will be a cash prize and prestige for the top victor, as well as prizes for the runner ups… come and see who’ll be crowned as the Ramen Winner at Jungle Bird that evening.
And lastly, we interviewed Chef Jason Azevedo of Alaro Brewing Co. who took home the title last year:
Ate 6 Media :
How did you win last year?
I did this umami bomb of a ramen that featured salt-cured egg yolks, and mix of seafood and pork. A Portuguese ramen if you will. It was on the fly with ingredients I had around me, and was my first time making ramen ever.
Ate 6 Media:
What are your expectations this year?
To repeat is one, and two, is to do the best I can with a new style, and have fun, because it will only be the the second time I’ve cooked ramen.
Ate 6 Media:
Why are you competing and what is your connection to Ramen?
To defend the crown, and prove that I can cook ramen, and earn drinking and bragging rights. I never experienced ramen until recently, when I noticed ramen popping up, I ate it and was like, “oh shit this is good!” I used to eat a lot of of pho… But now I eat ramen… it’s the ultimate comfort food.