The Farm & Table Chefs Taste Challenge Committee will review the chef applications and select a group of finalists representing New Orleans and a group from the Gulf Coast to compete. Once the Committee establishes who the final chefs are, each of the chefs and their selected sous will be invited to participate in the Chefs Taste Challenge dinner on September 7th in New Orleans.
Each chef will be able to select their protein and “farm fresh” featured product in advance via a scheduled live lottery. These items must be incorporated into each chef’s dish. We will randomly select the “draft” order in which competitors will choose recipe ingredients. There will be two rounds of product selection — the first to choose protein and the second to choose a farm fresh ingredient donated by State Departments of Agriculture. A pantry list of ingredients will be shared with chef contestants before the event, and once onsite there will be a designated time for each head chef to explore the pantry and select the ancillary ingredients for their dish.
Each chef will have access to the kitchen and equipment (limitations apply) at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. To assist in the creation of their entrees (500 tasting portions), selected chef contestants may bring with them one sous chef. They will also have access to the convention center’s kitchen during competition hours. Permission to bring additional kitchen equipment may be granted on a case by case basis.
A panel of culinary experts will select their favorite dish created by the competing chefs. The judges will be looking for the best dish to incorporate fresh farm to table ingredients and will judge on taste, creativity, and presentation. A People’s Choice award will also be announced based on the voting from dinner attendees. Awards will be presented to the People’s Choice winner, the Judges’ selection for Best Dish, and Best Team (NOLA vs. Gulf Coast) with an overall score. All chefs will receive participation in the Chefs Taste Challenge dinner and national recognition.