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Ultimate Culinary Challenge

Written By Administrator On April 26, 2009

Local Chefs To Compete in Culinary Smack-Down; It’s the Battle of the ParksCulinary Challange

The third annual Battle of the Parks will take place next Sunday, May 3, at the Beacon, 100 S. Eola Drive in Orlando. The event is a cook-off among some of the area’s top chefs and their sommeliers, each representing one of our local “parks:” Winter Park, College Park and Thornton Park.

Standing up for Winter Park is Julie Petrakis of The Ravenous Pig and sommelier Lee Kaleel. In College Park’s corner will be Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant Wine Bar with Dan Francoforte. Jephanie Foster of Graze and her sommelier, Mary McArtt, will represent Thornton Park, although technically Graze is not in Thornton Park.

Each chef will be presented with a box of secret ingredients that they must transform into a plated entree within 40 minutes to present to the panel of judges. I’ll be on the judges’ dais along with Heather McPherson of the Orlando Sentinel and master sommelier George Miliotes of Seasons 52. Jacqueline London of WKMG Local 6 will be mistress of ceremonies. (Calling someone a mistress of ceremonies sounds so tawdry, doesn’t it?)

Why does this matter to you? Because you can come down and watch the competition and sample the chefs’ creations while sipping some wine. The list of participating wineries includes Matanzas Creek, Freemark Abbey, Stonestreet, Cambria, Edmeades, La Crema, Murphy-Goode and Kendall-Jackson, so I’m thinking you can easily get your $35 worth. For an extra 15 bucks you can have VIP access to the Beacon. And it all goes to charity, with each chef representing a different cause. The winner of the culinary challenge will designate which charity will benefit.

For ticket information, call 407-841-5444. Come out and join the fun, and stop by and say hello.

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