Chef Geovanny Villagran earns Diamond Chef title
Chef Geovanny Villagran of La Casa de Mi Abuelita won UA – Pulaski Tech’s 13th annual Diamond Chef Arkansas competition April 22. His winning dish, a Salmón Ceviche with roasted poblano pepper dip and caramelized baby turnips, bested stiff competition from five leading central Arkansas chefs.
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.
The mystery ingredient, revealed just prior to the start of the competition, was whole salmon.
Diamond Chef On-Demand was a virtual event for 2021. The event is a well-loved and heavily attended annual fundraiser benefiting University of Arkansas - Pulaski Tech College Foundation and the culinary and hospitality programs at the college’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute (CAHMI) in Little Rock.
The event was co-chaired by writer and professional wine educator Lorri Hambuchen and nationally esteemed restaurateur Mary Beth Ringgold. Chef Todd Gold, former Dean of CAHMI and chair of the program’s advisory board was Master of Ceremonies.
Chef Villagran’s competitors were Chef Jordan Davis of Chenal Country Club, who was 2019 Diamond Chef Champion; Chef Bonner Cameron of Allsopp & Chappele; Chef Matias De Matthaeis of The Alotian Club; Chef Joseph Salguiero of Pleasant Valley Country Club; and Chef Brian Townley.
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