Chef Challenge

June 2, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, Iron Chef: America and even Chopped, all are devoted, in part or in full, to chef-on-chef cooking competition.  Well, you knew it was only a matter of time before I threw my toque into the ring.  I have been invited to compete in a preliminary cook-off to benefit the Bay Area Food Bank.

The Bay Area Food Bank is a wonderful charity that is essential to life here on the Gulf Coast.  The BAFB provides food for people on the Mississippi and Alabama coast as well as the panhandle of Florida who have ungergone great tragedy.  The supplies of this organization are all that stood between many Katrina/Ivan victims and starvation.

The main competition will be held in September and is a five-course traditional Italian meal.  Since I live on the coast I chose recipes from the coastal areas of Italy, specifically Sicily.  For the prelim I only have to prepare my entrée which I think will get the judges attention because it includes neither tomatoes nor cheese.  Pisci ‘Nfurnatu is a baked fish dish on a bed of roasted fennel with garlic, chili flakes and parsley.

I will be competing against two other chefs, Will Hughes of Will Hughes Catering and Ronald Menyfield from the local Romano’s Macaroni Grill.  Chef Will is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University (the same school that produced Emeril LeGasse and Tyler Florence) and is well respected in the area.  Chef Menyfield I am not familiar with but I used to work at Mac Grill so I’m sure we’ll have some stories to swap.

The prelim is June 18th at the multi-million dollar BAFB kitchens at 6:30PM.  For more information you can contact Meridith Simmerman at 251-653-1617.


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Stuart Reb Donald

Stuart is a celebrity chef and award winning food writer. Donald performs live cooking demonstrations and penned the cookbook Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor."


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