Local Lunch Cook Off
Cook Off Winners!
Grand Prize Winner:
Giuseppe's Italian Restaurant
People's Choice Award:
Firefly Farms Creamery & Market
Red Giant Kitchen @ Dante's
Best demonstration of the use of an obscure or underutilized local crop:
Best use of Appalachian culinary technique(s) to showcase the authenticity of local ingredients:
Tomorrow's People Catering
Most inventive way to feature a common local crop:
Chef Tylor Dinteman
Savage River Lodge
Red Giant Kitchen @ Dante's
Local flavor our talented chefs served up!
As a lunch guest, we had the opportunity to judge our local foods cook-off!
We challenged regional chefs to show us the amazing flavors of farm-fresh local food. Using as many locally grown ingredients as possible, each competing chef strove to win over our taste buds with the most creative, delicious dish they could invent!
Our job was to eat...then join our panel of judges in voting to determine the People's Choice Award winner.
The Local Lunch Cook Off featured chefs from
area restaurants including:
Jason Twigg, Fritz Kessler & Mitch Hall
The Judges: our official panel of judges determined cook off winners in a number of categories...
Spike Gjerde has been a prominent part of Baltimore’s restaurant community since he opened Spike & Charlie’s with his brother in 1991. The restaurant was Spike’s first opportunity to cultivate his relationships with local growers and their seasonal products—something that would be an integral aspect of all of his culinary endeavors over the next 20 years, including neighborhood bistro jr., the seafood-focused Atlantic, pan-Latin Joy America Café, as well as Vespa, a neighborhood Italian eatery.
Along with his wife, Amy—whom he met while she worked as a pastry chef at jr.—Spike opened Woodberry Kitchen in 2007, evolving his commitment to sustainable operations and working closely with over 60 different farmers and growers throughout the Chesapeake Bay and Mid-Atlantic regions, who supply the restaurant with beef, bison, lamb, chicken, eggs, oysters, shrimp, cheeses, and a majority of its produce.
In July 2012, Spike and Amy opened Artifact Coffee a coffee-driven destination featuring food and beverages that are fresh, local and made-to-order all day long. Much like the Gjerdes’ restaurant, Woodberry Kitchen, the coffee shop also relies on Spike’s longstanding relationships with the growers of the Chesapeake and supports sustainable agriculture that respects the abundance and traditions of the region while helping to ensure its future.
Spike’s hard work has resulted in acclaim on a local and national level, including features in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, Food Arts, Esquire, Southern Living, Garden & Gun and The Washington Post. Spike has appeared on CBS’s “Morning Show” and NBC’s “The Today Show,” and was recently featured on The Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.” His restaurants have graced the ranks of many “best of” lists, including Bon Appétit’s 2009 “Best New Restaurants” list. Spike has cooked for a sold-out crowd at the James Beard House in New York, and will do so again on September 30, 2013.
In 2013, Spike was named a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic” award. He is also a member of the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Alliance, which educates the public on the importance of supporting the local economy, and encourages businesses and consumers to be environmentally sustainable and socially responsible.
Susan Walter Sink
Susan Walter Sink began cooking in her early teens and credits wonderful home economics teachers and parents for inspiring her to try unusual foods and recipes. Early recipes were complicated and relied on many processed ingredients and difficult techniques. As family and work took up more time, recipes became simpler and the search for healthy organic food took on more importance.
For more than twenty years, Susan has been using organic food in her recipes. During the last five years, more than 150 recipes from her personal files have been updated to use 90% or more organic-sustainable ingredients direct from local farms and posted to her website www.tarheelfoodie.com. Learning how to preserve seasonal ingredients through canning, dehydrating and freezing allows many of the recipes to be made out of season without reliance on foods outside of the community.
Teaching at farmers' markets provides the opportunity to connect with all age groups that are interested in using the freshest food available. Small sustainable farms are preserving heirloom varieties of vegetables, animals and clean land where bees can thrive.
Susan has an Environmental Design degree from NCSU College of Design and works regularly with universities on projects that highlight sustainable-organic gardening like Appalachian State's participation in the DOE Solar Decathlon and the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden at Duke University. Susan continues to work with local health groups on recipe building demonstrations for diabetic and celiac patients.
Recipes can be found at tarheelfoodie.com
Susan can be reached at email@example.com
Adam Murray is a father of two handsome boys, loving husband to his wife Tathiana and previously General Manager at Pine Lodge Steakhouse; Deep Creek Lakes Premiere steakhouse. He graduated Pennsylvania Culinary Institute as Valedictorian in 2002.
Adam took every opportunity to expand his career and gain knowledge from every chef, instructor and guest that he met over his career. Since his start at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in 2001, he learned that through hard work comes success. His career really started to take off when he was offered a position at The Homestead Resort in Hot Springs Virginia with Chef Albert Schnarwyler. He was then offered the opportunity to become a line cook at a prestigious restaurant in the resort town of McHenry, MD, Pine Lodge Steakhouse in 2006.
By 2009 the owner had given him full operations of all aspects of Pine Lodge Steakhouse and also Food & Beverage purchasing at his second restaurant, Smiley’s Bar & Grill. Over his ten year career Adam has taken every opportunity to not only expand his career but also pass his knowledge down to the next great leader.
This event is funded in part with a USDA and MDA Specialty Crop Grant