Chenal Country Club Chef Jordan Davis is crowned 2019 Diamond Chef Arkansas Champion
Chef Davis and his sous chefs Patrick Carter and Chris Taylor went head-to-head in the final round against Chefs Izaak Winter of Ya Ya’s Bistro, Joseph Coleman from Little Rock Marriott, and Jamie McAfee of the Pine Bluff Country Club. After the finalists "fished" out their mystery ingredient -rainbow trout- the winning team prepared zucchini encrusted trout, a goat cheese stuffed zucchini blossom, sautéed cucumber, saffron foam, parsnip and egg yolk ravioli.
After his defeat in the final round last year by Chef Mary Beth Ringgold, Chef Jordan came back with an attitude of being “in it to win it.”
“It was one heck of a competition,” Jordan exclaimed. “I’m coming back next year to try and win it again and join Chef Ringgold in the Diamond Chef Hall of Fame!”
Only chefs who win back-to-back competitions are inducted into the Diamond Chef Hall of Fame and can no longer compete in the event.
Chef Davis and his sous chef Patrick Carter, also from Chenal Country Club, are both graduates of UA – Pulaski Tech’s CAHMI. Chris Taylor, an assigned UA – Pulaski Tech CAHMI student sous chef, was also on the winning team. All teams in the competition are required to have a current CAHMI student chef participate on their team.
Guests not only enjoyed the fast-paced culinary head-to-head competition, they also were able to enjoy Culinary Creation Stations with themes such as, “The British are Coming,” “Tasting the Titanic,” which served the menu from the last dinner served on the ship, “Sugarland,” and “The Battle of New Orleans.” Other features included “Arkansas Grown” presented by The St. Joseph Center that offered a farm-to-table education room with food samples, local farmers and a live bee display. In addition, were “Hospitality Olympic Games” presented by the Arkansas Hospitality Association, a live and silent auction and signature cocktails.
Other competing chefs this year included Amanda Ivy of Low Ivy Catering and Brandon Douglas from Green Leaf Grill. Judges included Chef Paul Bash, founding president of the American Culinary Federation Central Arkansas Chapter; Chef Kyle Richardson, national secretary of the American Culinary Federation, Chef Brian Hardy, Central Region Vice President of the American Culinary Federation and Diamond Chef Hall of Famer Chef Marybeth Ringgold, owner of Cajun’s Wharf, Capers and Copper Grill.
In its 12th year, Diamond Chef Arkansas is modeled after the popular Food Network shows, Iron Chef America and Chopped. A mystery ingredient - revealed at the start of each round - must be prominently presented in the courses prepared by each chef. The chefs' culinary creations were judged on plate presentations, creativity and taste.
More than 600 guests attended the event and approximately $115,000 was raised overall for the UA-PTC Foundation that will be used to support the students and programs of the college.
Diamond Chef Arkansas 2019 Chairman was Robert Klein, co-founder of The Property Group, the most innovative residential real estate brokerage firm in Little Rock.
Next year’s date for the 13th Annual Diamond Chef Arkansas Competition is already set for Thursday, April 23, 2020.
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