Meet 6 top chefs in Detroit Harmonie coney contest

Meet the chefs who are taking the Detroit coney dog to new dimensions in Detroit Harmonie’s $10,000 International Experience on March 23.

These are the six finalists from a field of 20 and what they prepared for the semi-finals. We expect to see them tweaking and fine-tuning their coneys for the finals. As a co-author of “Coney Detroit,” I was asked to judge the semifinals and will be judging the finals.

These chefs made it to the finals with a variety of ethnically inspired dogs. Five are French or Asian inspired and one has a South American flavor.

They are:

* Lynne Savino
* Will Branch
* Andy Hollyday
* Derik Watson
* Jesse Knott
* Kate Williams

Come on down to the Virgil Carr Center at 311 E. Grand River Ave. Doors open at 9 p.m. You can get all the information and register on Detroit Harmonie’s Facebook page.

Here, on Coney Detroit, you can meet the finalists, the coneys they concocted to make it to the finals and a little bit about them.

Come on out, taste their variations on Detroit’s signature food, support the city and meet some amazing people.

You can also see all 20 semi-finalists and their coney creations.

—Joe Grimm

Detroit Harmonie’s coney challenge | “Coney Detroit” book

Detroit Harmonie seeks new coney island hot dog recipes

Detroit chefs and foodies are turning the city’s signature food inside out in the $10,000 Top Chef Coney Detroit Challenge sponsored by Detroit Harmonie.

The group’s third International Experience challenged competitors to reimagine the coney dog with an international twist. The finals will be at 8 p.m. March 23 at the Carr Center, 311 E. Grand River Ave., and tickets are available online for $20.

To see the 20 semi-finalists at work, click on any photo you like. Use “next” and “previous” to flip through them, use your + or – keys to resize them. View their creations on a coney dog concoctions page.

All photos by Joe Grimm, co-author of “Coney Detroit,” who felt called to judge the semi-finalists and, on March 23, the finalists.

Coney dog recipes strain the imagination — and the belt

Twenty competitors in Detroit Harmonie’s Top Chef Detroit Challenge threw everything they had at Detroit’s classic coney island. I and the other semifinal judges ate beef, pork, lamb, rabbit, veal, corned beef hash and seitan dressed with onions, garlic, chili peppers, coriander, cumin, cilantro, jalepenos, cukes, daikon, purple onion and chocolate mustard served on brochen, naan, plain old hot dog buns, johnnycake and hallah.

To see the 20 creations, click on any photo you like. Use “next” and “previous” to flip through them, use your + or – keys to resize them. You can meet all 20 coney challenge semi-finalists here.

—Joe Grimm, “Coney Detroit

‘Coney Detroit’ in Detroit News gift guide

What a dandy idea! “Coney Detroit” for the holidays!

The Dec. 11 Detroit News features “Coney Detroit” as one of 12 holiday gift books for 2012.

Two of our friends have books in the guide: Dan Austin’s new “Forgotten Landmarks of Detroit” and Michael Hodge’s “Michigan Historical Railway Stations.” All three books do a good job with both writing and photography.

Check out the News’ holiday gift guide.

All author/photographer royalties from “Coney Detroit” go to the Gleaners Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan.

Detroit’s best coney islands — a shocker

Local 4 television viewers have voted in a best-of-Detroit coney contest which has some astounding results.

One of the winning coneys is also featured in our “100 coneys in 100 days” series.

The usual suspects are not on this list — anywhere. Although we have been to or heard most of what we estimate to be about 500 coney islands in the Detroit in the course of writing and promoting “Coney Detroit,” several were new us.

So be shocked — and learn about some new coney islands — by checking out this unusual list of top-five coney islands in the Detroit area.

Coneys and star power

Actor Matthew Fox, out promoting the screen adaptation of “Alex Cross,” filmed in Michigan, and talked with Examiner reporter Lori Melton, and she cut to the heart of the matter: Coneys.

For the role, Fox had to limit his daily diet to 1,200 to 1,500 calories. The hardest part of that? The small of coney dogs grilling. He told Melton, “I would walk by these places for like, the last two weeks of shooting and look through the door and sort of longingly watch them make these beautiful chili dogs and just the smell of it. So that’s what I was prepping for. On my last day I went there and scarfed like three of them.”