Finalists Announced for Chefs Taste Challenge

Registration Now Open for September 8 Event in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – Ten chefs from across the country have been announced as finalists for the third annual Farm to Table Chefs Taste Challenge (CTC), which takes place September 8, 2017 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
 Alex Belew Alex Belew Catering Murfreesboro, TN
 Robert Butts Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours Atlanta, GA
 Kaimana Chee Hampton Creek & Uncle’s Hawaiian Grindz Silver Spring, MD
 Jacob Cureton Atchafalaya New Orleans, LA
 Eric Fulkerson Bald Headed Bistro Cleveland, TN
 Evelyn Garcia Pop Ups by Chef Evelyn Houston, TX
 Alex Harrell Angeline New Orleans, LA
 Blake Jackson Drake Catering Shreveport, LA
 James Versfelt Shelbourne South Beach Miami Beach, FL
 Ülfet Özyabasligil Ralph Little St. Simons Island St. Simons Island, GA

The ten chefs, who hail from the southern United States, will compete to create the best dish that utilizes farm-fresh items from a pantry of pre-selected ingredients. Items stocked in the pantry will be representative of ingredients that are in-season in various regions at the time of the competition.

Participating chefs’ dishes will be judged by a panel of renowned judges. Confirmed judges include Izabela Wojcik, Director of House Programming, The James Beard Foundation; and Chef Hari Pulapaka, Chef/Owner of Cress Restaurant, DeLand, FL, and 2015 Chefs Taste Challenge Winner. The top two dishes will be selected for Gold and Silver Chefs Taste Challenge awards. A “Fan Favorite” award will also be presented based on voting from dinner attendees. All 10 selected chefs will receive national recognition for their participation in the Chefs Taste Challenge dinner event.

Tickets for the Chefs Taste Challenge start at $99 and include tastings of the menus prepared by the competing chefs, wine/beer pairings, and a voting card to determine a “fan favorite” dish.

Limited tickets are also available for the “Gourmet” experience, which is $899 for a table of eight, includes all of the “Foodie” level benefits, plus a special table with reserved seating for eight.

The Chefs Taste Challenge is produced by the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, in partnership with the National Farm to Table Alliance. The CTC is held in conjunction with Farm and Table NOLA, taking place September 7-9, 2017 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Farm and Table NOLA explores the cultivation, distribution and consumption of food and drink sourced locally to globally. For more information on F&Te, please visit