Diamond Chef Finale on June 3 (Sponsored)

FTC Disclosure – I was invited to attend the Diamond Chef finale with other bloggers and foodies in exchange for helping spread the word.  In an abundance of caution to comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s guidance regarding sponsored posts I am disclosing that here and again at the bottom of the post.

On June 3, 2013, the Diamond Chef Finale will take place in the Wally Allen Ballroom of the Statehouse Convention Center! This should be an amazing event for food lovers in Central Arkansas.  This is one of the most important food events for the Arkansas food community and I hope that you have the opportunity to attend.  You have no doubt how the food scene in Arkansas has exploded in the past several years.  If you doubt me, you need only listen to Steve on the Little Rock Foodcast, check out RockCityEats.com, or any of the plethora of other food blogs that have graced the Internets. Here is our chance to feed the culinary infrastructure.

If we want to have these amazing restaurants to stick around, even more than just our patronage, those restaurants need qualified and talented employees.  One of the most significant sources for new trained restaurants employees is Pulaski Technical College. Pulaski Technical College has a certified dual program for Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management.  We have the capabilities in Arkansas to train the chefs who will open the next great restaurant at our own culinary institute.  While Pulaski Tech has opened a new facility with a gorgeous space for the culinary school, public funding is always tight.  The Diamond Chef competition has been an annual fundraiser for the Pulaski Technical College Foundation since 2008 to help ensure that there are funds to meet the needs of the school, and by extension, the needs of Central Arkansas’ employers and economy.  The Foundation is a non-profit organization chartered for education purposes that responsible for the tax deductible gifts to Pulaski Technical College.

The Diamond Chef finale is a head-to-head competition between two chefs in the style of the inimitable Iron Chef series.  Before the program, however, there is a craft beer and wine reception  and I expect some silent auction items from the community.  At 7:00pm, each Chef will have one hour with which to complete a three course meal to be judged by an esteemed panel. (Side note – one day, I aspire to be on a panel like that.). While the hour ticks down and the chefs are under pressure, attendees will have a three course meal and follow along the action with emcee Pamela Smith.

Who made it to the finals? You can check the play-by-play from Christie Ison at Fancy Pants Foodie right here.The preliminaries took a page from the popular “Chopped” television series and offered competitors baskets of ingredients.  The entire 6 hours of competition was a lead up to see who will face off against the reigning Arkansas Diamond Chef. Returning three-time Diamond Chef Daniel Capello works at the Chenal Country Club and regrettably, I don’t have any pictures of his food to show off lying around.

Rabbit Pot Pie from CBG

Rabbit Pot Pie from CBG

His upstart challenger?  Chef Marc Guizol is the current executive sous chef at The Capital Hotel.  The Capital Hotel has seen many fantastic chefs cut their teeth before venturing out and Chef Guizol is there for the reimagining of Ashley’s.  This is a chance to see the future of a Little Rock institution going head to head with a seasoned veteran. I couldn’t make the prelims, but check out Christie’s post, linked above, for pictures from that event and the winning dishes for Chef Guizol.

Tickets are a little pricey at $200 per person, but the cause is worthwhile.  Pulaski Tech has been providing the unsung heroes of the Central Arkansas economy for decades and as we embrace the culinary potential Arkansas offers, we owe it to the chefs, the cooks, the eaters, and the diners to support the Pulaski Technical College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute.

You can reserve tickets by contacting Bret Graves at 501-812-2771 or at www.pulaskitech.edu/diamondchef

If I get permission to use some other photos, I will add some later today.

FTC Disclosure – I was invited to attend the Diamond Chef finale with other bloggers and foodies in exchange for helping spread the word. In an abundance of caution to comply with the Federal trade Commission’s guidance regarding sponsored posts I am disclosing that here.