MSV Top Knife 2019

MSV Top Knife Winner Brittney Hagan from Zia’s, Toledo, OH!

Congratulations to this year’s Mainstreet Ventures (MSV) Top Knife winner Brittney Hagan with her entrée Pesto Rubbed Veal Chop with fingerling potatoes, pearl onions, greens and balsamic vinaigrette.

The Mainstreet Ventures (MSV) Top Knife is an annual live cook-off competition between MSV restaurants showcasing uniquely styled dishes based on taste, presentation and creativity. Each MSV Top Knife competitor earned their spot to be at the competition by first competing against their peers at their local MSV restaurant with their unique dish. After winning in their own local market, each top competitor then qualified to compete against each other for the overall coveted title of the MSV Top Knife.

This year’s final competition for the MSV Top Knife was held on Monday, January 7, 2019 at Zia’s Italian restaurant in Toledo, Ohio. The event included VIP judges helping to select the overall MSV Top Knife winner and the cost to attend was $100 per person (all inclusive) with a portion of event proceeds to benefit Tutor Smart of Toledo.

All the competitors earned their right to compete at this year’s MSV Top Knife event. Each dish produced from this event represents a unique culinary creation. Anyone who works at an MSV restaurant can participate in the competition at the local level, however, based on the dish, only a select few qualify to compete at the MSV Top Knife event and only one person is awarded the top honors of MSV Top Knife. The end result of this event produces inspired cuisine that we can literally bring to the table.  Winning dishes will start to appear on select, concept appropriate menus beginning January 29th, 2019!

Over 50 VIP judges enjoyed a 9-course tasting of each competitor’s unique dish from the qualifying MSV Top Knife competitors, including 2 desserts. Each judge rated each dish based on taste, presentation and creativity. At the end of the event, the judges ranked their top three competitors on a final scorecard. All scorecards were collected and results were tabulated to determine the first, second and third place winning dish.

Brittney’s entrée will soon be featured on select menus in the Mainstreet Ventures distinctive eateries. In addition to the top honors as MSV Top Knife, Brittney also received a Wüsthof Gourment Chef’s Knife and $1,500 cash. Cash prizes were also awarded to the top three winners as well as one honorable mention.




Bartender, Brittney Hagan

Zia’s, Toledo, OH

Pesto Rubbed Veal Chop
fingerling potatoes / pearl onions / greens / pear / balsamic vinaigrette
Brittney’s Veal Chop will soon be placed on restaurant menus at: Zia’s – Toledo, OH / Ciao! – Sylvania, OH / Stillwater Grill – Okemos, MI / Gratzi – Ann Arbor, MI / Palio – Owings Mills, MD

Pesto Rubbed Veal Chop

Brittney Hagan


Dining Room Supervisor, Katelyn Hom
Real Seafood Company, Ann Arbor, MI
Butter Cake
caramelized anglaise / strawberry / vanilla gelato

Butter Cake

Katelyn Hom


Server, Andrew Kritzer
Real Seafood Company, Toledo, OH
Grilled Mahi Mahi
coconut curry / pineapple polenta / bok choy

Grilled Mahi Mahi

Andrew Kritzer


Line Cook, Billy Brennan
The Chop House, Toledo, OH
Parmesan Encrusted NY Strip
fondant potatoes

Parmesan Encrusted NY Strip

Fondant Potatoes

Billy Brennan


Chef Aaron Musinski
Real Seafood Company, Bay City, MI
Grilled Mango Glazed Scallops
ancient grain pilaf / coconut kohlrabi slaw


Line Cook, Chris Paglia
Real Seafood Company, Ann Arbor, MI
Irish Seafood Pie


Kitchen Supervisor, Gavin Miller
Palio, Ann Arbor, MI
Squash Bolognese
roasted carrots / pancetta / hazelnuts / spaghetti / squash bolognese sauce

Kitchen Supervisor, Jeff Smith
Ciao!, Sylvania, OH
Braised Beef Short Rib
porcini mushroom demi-glace / parmesan polenta / grilled asparagus

Dining Room Manager, Daniel Hochrein
Palio, Ann Arbor, MI
Spumoni Baked Alaska
maraschino cherry cake / pistachio / gelato / amaretto meringue

Thank you to all the participants, judges and team members for another successful MSV Top Knife event!


Photo Album