HARRISBURG – Popular chefs from the Food Network and Pennsylvania restaurants will show visitors at the 2009 Pennsylvania Farm Show how to create culinary masterpieces from locally produced ingredients through live cooking demonstrations and competitions.
“Pennsylvania is a microcosm of the nation, with a variety of commodities produced throughout our diverse state,” said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff. “Our locally produced dairy products, fruit, meat and vegetables are ideal for use in professional and home kitchens to create great tasting, nutritious dishes. The PA Preferred Culinary Connection Stage is a great place to observe renowned chefs doing incredible things with commodities produced close to home.”
The PA Preferred Culinary Connection Stage, located in the main hall, will feature demonstrations by chefs Chris Cognac, the Food Network’s “Hungry Detective;” Richard Blais, star of Bravo’s third season of “Top Chef” and “Iron Chef America” contestant; and Louisa Chu, guest on “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” and star of “Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie” on PBS.
Chefs from local restaurants, cooking schools and companies across Pennsylvania will take the PA Preferred Culinary Connection Stage each hour throughout the week.
Starting at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 15, on the PA Preferred Culinary Connection Stage, four regional champions will compete in head-to-head cooking trials using Pennsylvania foods. Similar to the famous “Iron Chef” competitions, participants will not be told in advance the ingredients they must use during the competition.
The winner of the regional champions’ competition will compete for the title of Pennsylvania’s Best Chef against 2008 reigning champion Drew Wandishin, executive chef of Top of the 80’s in West Hazelton, Luzerne County, at 5 p.m. on the PA Preferred Culinary Connection Stage.
The winners of the four regional contests vying for the “Best Chef” title are:
• Shaun Alcorn, chef and owner of Bella Cucina in Franklin, Venango County
• David Ansill, chef and owner of Ansill Food + Wine, Philadelphia
• Michael Collier, executive chef at The Hershey Country Club, Hershey, Dauphin County
• Bill Sell, executive chef at the Altoona Hotel – An American Bistro, Altoona, Blair County
For a complete schedule of PA Preferred culinary events, and biographies and photos of the chefs, visit www.papreferred.com
and click on “PA Preferred Culinary Connection.”
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 270 commercial exhibitors. The eight-day show is Jan. 10-17, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $8. For more information, including a complete list of the 18 learning stations, visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us