Worcester’s Best Chef Competition To Highlight Region’s Top Talent
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Two awards will handed out: The People's Choice Award which will be voted on by those attendance; and the Judges' pick. Last year, the people's pick was Wilson Wang of BABA Sushi. The runners-up were Al Maykel of EVO Dining and Bill Nemeroff from Ceres Bistro. The judges' pick and overall winner was Chris Rovezzi of Rovezzi's Ristorante in Sturbridge. People's choice Wilson Wang and Dan O' Sullivan, of Sonoma Restaurant in Princeton, were runners-up.
"The competition is intended to highlight the region's very best chefs," says Domenic Mercurio, the founder of Mercury & Media Entertainment and producer of the event. "And, in the process, highlight Worcester and Central Mass as a premier culinary destination."
Worcester and the Central Mass area are not often recognized as places ideal for fine dining, at least compared to cities like Boston and Providence, but Mercurio wants to dispel that misconception. The Best Chef competition goes a long way in helping do just that.
Rovezzi, Wang, O'Sullivan and Maykel will be featured once again in this year's competition. In addition, chefs from the Flying Rhino, Nuovo, the Boynton, Kozara, Livia's Dish, Zorba's Taverna, 7 Nana, Brew City, and Viva Bene Ristorante in Worcester; BT's Smokehouse and Sturbridge Host Hotel in Sturbridge; Two Chefs Restaurant and Pastry Shop in Spencer; Ristorante Via Alto 27 in Clinton; Cheng Du in Westboro; Scales Restaurant in Millbury; and Twisted Fork from Cherry Valley will be a part of the competition.
"Area chefs and restaurants get an incredible amount of exposure and media attention thanks to the competition," says Mercurio, "especially for those who are chosen as the top three by the people and judges."
As an added benefit, a portion of the proceeds will go to the Worcester Technical High School's Culinary Arts Program.
"Their culinary program does great work for students from the inner city who want to become chefs," says Mercurio.
A number of students from the program will actually shadow the competing chefs.
Judges include, among others, nationally-known culinary talents such as Chef Barry E. Sexton from the Food Network's Dinner Impossible and Worcester's very own Chef Alina Eisenhauer from Sweet Pastry Shop and Dessert Bar.
Tickets cost $40, but patrons get plenty of bang for their buck.
In addition to the great food provided by 23 of the area's "very best chefs", those in attendance are also welcome to taste-test selections from nine prestigious wineries and breweries while getting massages from therapists on site. You can also learn a little about American history by listening to representatives of Gosling's Rum talk about why Rum Punch was the favorite drink of the Founding Fathers. "Ambrose Gosling" will sing songs and play colonial music on citterns, fiddles and fife and drum.
VIP guests will be allowed in an hour early to talk on-on-one with the chefs, sample some of the chef's signature dishes, view a strudel-making demonstration with Chef DJ Allen and more, all while listening to the Jazz trio "Players to be Named Later."
For information on the competition and to purchase tickets, visit the Worcester's Best Chef website.
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