Top 10 Takeover Returns with a Focus on Detroit’s Food Fighters

By: Karen Dybis | June 4, 2021
Top 10 Takeover

Photo Courtesy of SheWolf.

Restaurants across the nation as well as those favorite dining spots around Metro Detroit have gone through a whirlwind over the past 15 months, learning how to go online, serve mostly carryout dinners, support staff and hire new crew during a global pandemic. Despite these challenges, many chefs have given back to their communities through food drives, special meals and much more.

Eleven Metro Detroit chefs, including Chef of the Year, are doing it again in partnership with the Detroit Free Press and the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers. These Top 11 inaugural class of Food Fighters are part of the Top 10 Takeover Dining series this year. These 11 diverse chefs have served their communities in incredible ways during the pandemic. This dining series highlights not only the hard work of these individual chefs but the great food, terrific dining rooms and outstanding staff that have kept them going throughout this difficult time.

This year’s restaurants are: The Block, SheWolf Pastificio & Bar, Batch Brewing Co., Saffron de Twah, Farmacy Foods, Gabriel Hall, COOP Detroit, Kuzzo’s, Bunny Bunny, El Nacimiento and Bangkok 96. The first event will take place on Wednesday, June 16, at The Block and we will host events every other week through Nov. 1. 

The Food Fighters are: Gabriel Hall’s Ederique Goudia, Saffron De Twah’s Oma Anani, SheWolf’s Anthony Lombardo, Batch’s Stephen Roginson, Bunny Bunny’s Jennifer Jackson and Justin Tootla, Bangkok 96’s Genevieve Vang, The Block’s Stephanie Byrd, Kuzzo’s Ron Bartell, Hardy Hospitality Group’s Max Hardy (COOP Detroit), El Nacimiento’s Alvaro Padilla and Farmacy Food’s Phil Jones.

Former Detroit Free Press restaurant critic Mark Kurlyandchik selected the Top 10 Food Fighters in March 2021 as a way to honor their hard work and give-back spirit. Normally, the Free Press and its main food writer highlight the top, new, restaurants and dining through a list of the Top 10 Best New restaurants to the area. 

Due to the circumstances surrounding the virus, The Detroit Free Press and its partner the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers decided to pivot their event series to honor these incredible chefs for 2021. 

The basics of the Top 10 Takeover events will remain the same. The chef selected will create a special curated menu just for the event. You will be able to purchase your ticket online before the event.. There also will be special drink pairings for these meals. These are akin to VIP nights, giving the restaurants and the chefs a chance to talk about their food, their experiences in Metro Detroit’s rising food industry and highlight what kind of meals they make. 

The event also has a unique component for those who love to win something – there is a ticket giveaway that will accompany each event. People can enter at and, if they win, they will receive two tickets to that week’s Top 10 Takeover meal. Most of these events tend to sell out and sell out quickly – we’re talking hours, not days, here – and having an extra chance at the fun is definitely a great prize for the winners.