Best Bites from the Caputo’s Deli Olympics

Awards elation for the gold

I could (and will) write an entire blog about the inaugural Caputo’s Deli Olympics, but for the sake of showing off our talented food people and making y’all drool, we’re going to start off with a highlight of the Best Bites competition. For this test, contestants were given 15 minutes to create a composed bite using only ingredients from our market shelves and deli pantry. The shopping was fast, the prep was furious, and the bites were beautifully plated with only a little sweat shed on the side.

Judges Judging

With teams representing each brick and mortar Caputo’s, Online, Admin, and Warehouse, we had a diverse set of faces working hard behind the line. Our judges, Matt and Yelena Caputo, have an intimate knowledge of the ingredients contestants had access to. At the end of the day, the winners were clear and undisputed, with praise for the gold putting it in line with a “dessert one would expect to find at a Michelin-starred restaurant.” While we can’t share all the bites that came across the judging table, we do want to share the highlights, and present the Bronze, Silver, and Gold with their stories below:

🥇Gold: Caputo’s Holladay🥇

Spicy Citrus S’more

By Fern DeFrance

Fern has been with Caputo’s for less than a year, but she’s been with food her entire life. Some kids want to grow up to be an astronaut. Elementary school Fern wanted to be a baker. Now a full-time online student studying photography and creative writing at Seattle University, she keeps her passion for food alive behind the line at Caputo’s Holladay. Her s’more was inspired by the Chili Beak Citrus Habanero Caramel, and came full circle with her manager, Austin, suggesting the use of a blow torch.

Judges Corner: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This bite could have been the highlight of a meal at a 3 Michelin Star restaurant! Truly transcendent.” 

INGREDIENTS (Available as a Bundle!)


  1. Drizzle syrup from San Giuliano Orange Slices and a few drops of Secret Aardvark Hot Sauce on top of Rustic Bakery Vanilla Biscuit
  2. Top smothered biscuit with square of Caputo’s Wild Tranquilidad Chocolate and melt with blow torch
  3. Top melted chocolate with M&F Marshmallow and melt with blow torch
  4. Add a couple drops of Secret Aardvark Hot Sauce to top of melted marshmallow
  5. Cover marshmallow with piece of caramel and melt with blow torch until dripping
  6. Place orange slice into melted caramel and garnish with small piece of basil

🥈Silver: Caputo’s Warehouse🥈

Pan Con Tomate

By Ryan Terrio

With no time for planning or previous knowledge he would be competing, Ryan played straight to the hearts of the judges. Having worked in food his whole professional life, Ryan understands the importance of simplicity. His bite is a salute to this ethos as well as a callback to the importance of conservas culture.

Judges Corner: “Having just returned from Spain, this would have been a highlight at even the most prestigious tapas bar. Classic flavors and expert execution. The perfectly toasted bread did become a bit soggy in the middle by the time we tasted it, but had it been eaten immediately this would have been absolutely perfect.”

INGREDIENTS (Available as a Bundle!)


  1. Toast ciabatta in JOSE EVOO on one side. You’re going for crispy – not crunchy, not dry.
  2. While ciabatta is toasting, prep your veggies. Finely dice your onion and shred your tomato on the medium holes of a box grater.
  3. Plate sardines with some oil directly onto the toasted side of ciabatta. Top with prepped onion and tomato. Garnish with parsley and attempt to save some to share.

🥉Bronze: Caputo’s Downtown🥉

Throw it on a Cracker

by Alicia Konzen

As the market manager of Caputo’s Downtown, Alicia is deeply steeped in the products on our shelves. In her own words, she is “lazy and likes to throw stuff together on crackers.” Luckily, she knows the right stuff to throw, and her bite was nothing short of divine. She even added arugula because “it’s the Olympics and we had to make it fancy!”

Judges Corner: “The creamy tang of the mild buffalo cheese paired very well with the cinnamon in that vegan salami and the hard crunch of the cracker/crisp was a great delivery device. The bitters added an array of botanical aromas and the bitterness helping bring complexity and balance. Given the bitterness from the cocktail bitters, it might have been better without the arugula, mainly because of texture mismatch, but overall this was a delicious bite.”

INGREDIENTS (Available as a Bundle!)


  1. Place cracker on plate. Top with Casatica, salumi, and a couple dashes of bitters. Finish with a leaf of fresh arugula (to make it fancy).

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