Article updated: 10/30/2013 6:17 AM

Cook of the Week Challenge: Final four count down to cook-off

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Lori Motyka, from West Chicago, created a flatbread pizza with sardines, chick peas, fennel and golden raisins.

Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

Palatine's Christine Murphy's creation of swordfish and watermelon using bourbon glaze.

Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Grilled Game Day Pizza, Grilled Spam & Havarti Sliders with Baby Beets and Apple Orange Marmalade Slaw and Apple Cider-Brined Turkey Legs by Lori Wiktorek of Aurora for the Cook of the Week Challenge.

Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

Lori Motyka won the cod, portobello and dried current challenge with this Mediterranean-inspired dish.

Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

Dan Rich of Elgi made Phyllo Bombs (with twisted tops) and Beef Wellington with almond butter pate, both served with a Twizzler port sauce; almond butter and bacon-stuffed celery boats; savory Baklava. Party foods created with Twizzlers, almond butter, celery and phyllo sheets.

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

Dan Rich turned canned salmon fritters, red peppers and farro and grapes into fritters and a salad to win his first round challenge.

Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

Christine Murphy's individual stratas won the gruyere, frozen waffles and green chilies challenge.

JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

Green Tea-Rosemary Pork Chops with Cranberry-Apricot Stuffing and Cheddar Bacon Cauliflower Casserole got Lori Wiktorek into the second round.

Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

About this Article

Nail biting and Food Network marathons ... that's how the four finalists in the Daily Herald Cook of the Week Challenge are preparing for the Wednesday, Oct. 30, mystery basket cook-off. Whatever the ingredients turn out to be, our four cooks -- Lori Motyka of West Chicago, Christine Murphy of Palatine, Dan Rich of Elgin and Lori Wiktorek of Aurora -- will have just one hour to create and plate a dish and present it to a panel of five judges at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg.
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    • Lori Motyka, from West Chicago, created a flatbread pizza with sardines, chick peas, fennel and golden raisins.
    •  Palatine’s Christine Murphy’s creation of swordfish and watermelon using bourbon glaze.
    •  Grilled Game Day Pizza, Grilled Spam & Havarti Sliders with Baby Beets and Apple Orange Marmalade Slaw and Apple Cider-Brined Turkey Legs by Lori Wiktorek of Aurora for the Cook of the Week Challenge.
    •  Lori Motyka won the cod, portobello and dried current challenge with this Mediterranean-inspired dish.
    •  Dan Rich of Elgi made Phyllo Bombs (with twisted tops) and Beef Wellington with almond butter pate, both served with a Twizzler port sauce; almond butter and bacon-stuffed celery boats; savory Baklava. Party foods created with Twizzlers, almond butter, celery and phyllo sheets.
    •  Dan Rich turned canned salmon fritters, red peppers and farro and grapes into fritters and a salad to win his first round challenge.
    •  Christine Murphy’s individual stratas won the gruyere, frozen waffles and green chilies challenge.
    •  Green Tea-Rosemary Pork Chops with Cranberry-Apricot Stuffing and Cheddar Bacon Cauliflower Casserole got Lori Wiktorek into the second round.
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