Marco Bahena Wins “S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef” Competition 2011

Judges Gail Simmons & Ralph Pagano Present Awards In Napa, CA

Posted by Sharon on Mar 18

Note: TheCooksDen may receive a small commission from our partner should you choose to purchase this item

The 9th Annual S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition was recently held in Napa Valley, CA at Greystone's Culinary Institute of America. For three days, rising-star chefs completed challenges akin to what they'd experience on "Top Chef" or "Iron Chef" with mystery ingredients, signature dishes, and a panel of celebrity chef judges.

Kendall College student Marco Bahena emerged as the grand prize winner of $10,000 as well as a one-year paid mentorship with the celebrity chef judge of his choice. Bahena also won a $3,000 prize for his innovative signature dish, which was Mediterranean lamb loin.

Additional $3,000 champions included Mystery Basket winner Jean-Francois Daigle, People's Choice taste test winner Elizabeth Freer, and Fan Favorite winner Emma Louth. Daigle used the mystery ingredient of pork loin to his advantage, while Freer's recipe presented a rabbit dish two ways: sweet braised rabbit ravioli with a pecan and spice encrusted tenderloin.

Judges for this year's Almost Famous Chef Competition were Gail Simmons and Dana Cowin of "Food & Wine Magazine," host Ralph Pagano of "Pressure Cook," renowned critic Sophie Gayot, Bonnie Stern of "The National Post," and James Beard representative Mitchell Davis, along with chefs Rick Moonen, Gary Danko, Michael Richard, Bob Hurley, Jean Joho, Brooke McDougall, and Tony Mantunao.

"This competition fosters developing mentoring relationships between current chefs and the next generation of talent, and being part of that is really rewarding," said chef Mantunao.

Source:  PR Newswire

Comments are closed.