CHICAGO, Monday, July 30, 2012. The 6th Annual Country Chef Challenge pits three of Chicago's top chefs against each other in a battle for the title of Master of the Market this Thursday on Daley Plaza. The public is invited to watch the free event, kicking off at 11a.m., and cheer for their favorite.
Competing chefs include: John Anderes, executive chef of Telegraph; Sarah Grueneberg, executive chef of Spiaggia and runner-up on Top Chef season nine; and Dale Levitski, executive chef of Frog n Snail and runner-up on Top Chef season three.
The competition is fast and furious. The chefs are given 20 minutes to shop the market. Next they must create an original dish from the fresh ingredients that they have selected in just 30-minutes.
Sitting on the judging panel this year will be Sue Ontiveros, food editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, and Billy Dec, entertainment correspondent on ABC’s Windy City Live and a third judge, TBA. Steve Baskerville of CBS 2 Chicago will serve as master of ceremonies.
PRIZES AND FREEBIES.
The first 1,000 spectators at the Country Chef Challenge will receive a free specially-designed canvas bag. All spectators will have a chance to win additional prizes. This year's design winning bag was developed by Kaylee Sherrod, a Steinmetz Academic Centre junior. Sherrod received a $1,000 scholarship from Country Financial for her design.
After the competition, you may want to do some shopping at the market to try out some of the chef-created recipes. The market features nearly 70 vendors with fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods and other items every Thursday through October 18 (7a.m. to 3p.m.). Here are a few of the popular vendors you may want to visit.
- The Nichols Farm and Orchard family booth, 2nd generation farmers from Marengo, IL., for a wide-range of mouth-watering seasonal produce.
- The Bee Guy, at Kress Apiary from Indiana, brings his live bees and organic raw honey to the market. You can watch the bees making the honey with your own eyes. Don't worry, they are behind glass.
- Rise 'n Roll Bakery, an Amish booth that sells to-die-for cashew brittle, blueberry pies and more.
- Brunkow Cheese, a Darlington, WI. based dairy offers samples of their cheeses which include aged-cheddars, a yummy grilling cheese, plus some raw-milk cheeses and more.
- Lehman's Orchard from Niles, Michigan sells seasonal fruits from berries and peaches to apples and apple cider in the fall. They also sell dried fruit, pure honey, fresh nuts, pumpkin seeds, veggie chips and Trail Mixes.
For a complete list of days, times and locations for city markets visit City of Chicago Farmers Markets. Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington.