Last year, I attended the first annual Farm to Table Chefs Taste Challenge (CTC) at the Ernest N. Memorial Convention Center in New Orleans. It was a great experience. So great, that I’ll be going back for round two next month! Anyone can go — as long as you buy a ticket. Trust me, if you’re a true foodie, you’ll love this!
The press release describes the Chefs Taste Challenge as a “fun, fresh take on a food competition aimed at broadening awareness for the use of fresh, healthy, sustainable ingredients in preparing food.” Ten chefs from around the country have been selected to compete to create farm-fresh dishes. The chefs have already chosen what they’ll be cooking from a pantry of seasonal ingredients donated by state agricultural departments. So, during the live competition, they will prepare, cook, and plate dishes for attendees to taste and vote on for the “Fan Favorite” award.
Each dish will be accompanied with wine/beer pairings. Once the voting ballots are in, the chefs’ dishes will then be judged by a panel of industry-renowned experts from The James Beard Foundation, Centerplate, and Hell’s Kitchen, just to name a few. The judges will deliberate then announce the winners of the Gold, Silver, and Fan Favorite awards.
THE COMPETING CHEFS ARE:
1. Nicholas Calias, The Colonnade Hotel & Brasserie, Jo Boston, MA
2. Henry Chandler, Henry’s Louisiana Grill, Acworth, GA
3. Eric Cook, American Sector, New Orleans, LA
4. Mark Henry, Brother Luck Street Eats, Fountain, CO
5. Clint Jolly, Great Thyme Catering, Reno, NV
6. Alexa Lemley, 240sweet Artisan Foodworks, Columbus, IN
7. Leonardo Maurelli, III, Ariccia Trattoria at The Hotel at University of Auburn, Auburn, AL
8. Chef Plum, Plumluvfoods, Newtown, CT
9. David Ruiz, Pueblo Harvest, Café Albuquerque, NM
10. Lee Anne Wong, KH Restaurants, Honolulu, HI
Friday, August 19, 2016
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
The Chefs Taste Challenge is a part of the Farm to Table Experience, the annual gathering that features tastings, hands-on workshops, chef demos, educational sessions, and more from August 18 – 20, 2016. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit the official website.