Anthony Jacquet, chef at the Restaurant at Getty Center, Jason Mattick, chef at Max Restaurant, and Shawn Pham, chef at Sona Restaurant, won the top prizes Sept. 10 in the finals of the L.A. County Fair’s second annual Chefs on the Rise competition. Jacquet received best in show – overall top chef, winning $2,000. Mattick won in the white wine category and Pham in the red wine. Each received a gold medal and a $1,000 cash prize.
Eight semi-finalists peeled, chopped, sliced, diced, marinated and sautéed in front of a live audience at the Culinary Styles Gourmet Kitchen the opening weekend of the Fair. Contestants had to pair their dishes with an assigned white wine, red wine and olive oil.
Jacquet also took best food demonstration. Mattick received top honors for best use of olive oil.
Chefs on the Rise held its first competition in May, 2005, at the Collins School of Hospitality Management on the campus of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. The Fair established the competition to recognize and honor up-and-coming chefs who are particularly skilled at pairing wine and food. Chefs on the Rise is a celebration of the role that fine wine and food plays in the enhancement of our lives. Judges looked for recipes that effectively blended flavor and textural elements of wine and food and featured ingredients and instructions that could easily be replicated by home cooks. The competition was open to professional chefs who work in public restaurants in Southern California and have not held an executive chef position for more than one year.
Recipes are available on the Web site, www.lacountyfair.com.