The “Chef of the Fest” Competition during the Festival’s Grand Tasting Event Shines The Spotlight on San Diego’s Rising Culinary Superstars
This year’s contenders battle for up to $50,000 in cash and prizes as well as the title of “Chef of the Fest,” currently held by 2011 winner Chef Daniel Barron formerly of Blue Point Coastal Cuisine. The competition takes place at the food and wine festival’s Grand Tasting Event on the Embarcadero Marina Park North on Saturday, November 17, 2012. “The partnership with Creekstone Farms is a perfect fit for the ‘Chef of the Fest’ competition and we look forward to the collaboration,” said Michelle Metter, co-producer of the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival. “The competition is an important staple in San Diego that brings national recognition to our local culinary superstars. It gives chefs the opportunity to get creative in the kitchen and present their dishes to over 5,000 discerning palates.”
The “Chef of the Fest” competition is judged by the San Diego Chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), a professional organization of chefs and culinarians. Chef Katherine Emmenegger, San Diego Chapter Secretary, leads the judging process. New this year, the “Chef of the Fest” competition will be judged by seven judges in a blind tasting— three judges from the American Culinary Federation and four guest celebrity chef judges. Using a tiered judging process, competitors are carefully narrowed down to ten finalists and five category winners. The finalists and category winners are graded with a point system, including scores for presentation, flavor, innovation, quality of product, and preparation in the allotted time.
The top 10 winners of the “Chef of the Fest” competition are announced on Saturday, November 17 at the Grand Tasting Event inside the Creekstone Farms Pavillion. The winner and “Chef of the Fest” is then announced on Sunday, November 18 during the Wine Spectator Celebrity Chef Luncheon & Live Auction where Creekstone Farms will present the winner with a check.
The Chef of the Fest Competition is presented by Creekstone Farms and hosted by Big Green Egg. Additional sponsors of the wine and food festival’s culinary competition include Dining Out Magazine, Cooking Light Magazine, NBC7.com, CookDazzle.com, Southwest Airlines, Big Green Egg, True Professional Series, Partagas, and Taylor Guitar to date. Prizes include items such as a “Chef of the Fest” winner feature in Dining Out Magazine, Cooking Light Magazine, San Diego Magazine and NBC7.com, jet-setting vacation packages, round-trip airfare for two on Southwest Airlines, True Professional Series wine storage refrigeration unit, Shun handcrafted knives, Big Green Egg’s EGG® outdoor cookers with accessories, Partagas cigar gift packages and many more prizes to be announced. For a complete listing of prizes, visit www.sandiegowineclassic.com/brands-sponsors.html and click on the Chef of the Fest Competition sub-navigation.
Chefs who are interested in participating at this year’s competition should refer to the “Chef of the Fest” section on the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival website. Contenders will need to fill out the Chef of the Fest Registration Form and submit it to World of Wine Events along with an entry fee of $50. Each chef is required to submit a detailed description of his or her dish and indicate whether it falls under the raw/vegetarian, meat, poultry, fish/seafood or dessert category.
For a schedule of events and more information on the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival, visit www.sandiegowineclassic.com. Platinum level sponsors of the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival include Harrah’s Rincon, San Diego Tourism Marketing District, Buick, Southwest Airlines, Union Bank, Cooking Light Magazine, San Diego Magazine, Cox Communications, and the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina. For a complete list of sponsors, vist www.sandiegowineclassic.com/about.html.