Top Chef
June 24th & 25th, 2017

Competition will drive the festival with the exciting Coldwell Banker Top Chef Competition presented by Standard TV and Appliance with JENN-AIR and Whole Foods Market. Just like the popular Food Network series, the Top Chef competition presents unique challenges, special and secret ingredients and an opportunity for local chefs to flex their creative muscles. Check out the Schedule Here.

Title Sponsor

Title Sponsor

The “Kitchen Stadium” comes alive with delicious tastes and smells of Central Oregon’s most talented chefs. Two full sized kitchens will be set up for the Top Chef Competition right in the middle of downtown. Lay It Out Events will provide the food and a “secret ingredient” and local chefs compete to prove their culinary expertise. For those unfamiliar with the Top Chef event format, two chefs are presented with a mystery ingredient and must, in an allotted one hour, come up with a dish that wows the palettes of the distinguished panel of judges. We will start with eight chefs in a round robin format with the winners of each round advancing to the next stage culminating in the final round to determine the Top Chef.

Presented By:

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2017 Competitors Coming Soon!!

Chef Nick Dogwood CocktailChef Nick grew up in a large Italian family helping his mother in the kitchen. He has worked in Philadelphia,Memphis,Florida, Australia and Portland where he worked for James Beard nominated chef David Padberg, deepening his knowledge about the remarkable range of ingredients available in this area. Bringing this expertise to Bend to run the kitchen at the Dogwood cocktail cabin, he now creates local seasonal delights at his own food truck The Blackened Dragon


Kevin IMageChef Linde grew up helping his family raise animals and grow vegetables, developing a deep respect for where food comes from. At Pronghorn, he works with a network of local Central Oregon farmers and friends to source fresh regional ingredients. Then he interprets those ingredients into inspired and approachable culinary experiences. Before arriving at Pronghorn, Chef Linde was the owner and Executive Chef of his Northwest inspired restaurant Porta on the Oregon Coast. He is a graduate of Seattle Central’s culinary program and also Washington State University’s hospitality program. Chef Linde has worked in restaurants in Washington, Arizona and Oregon, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.“I take pride in adding a personal touch to every plate that leaves the kitchen.”


The Capitol’s  Chef Team

LukeLuke Mason started as a dish washer at Bottle Bay Resort in Sandpoint, ID and has cooked in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Portland.  He has consulted 2 local restaurant openings in Bend, OR.  He describes his style of cooking as market inspired seasonal cuisine.


UntitledMatthew Makohin has worked in restaurants such as Lincoln Park Wine Bar in San Aselmo, CA, Red Bird in Missoula, MT and Kanpai& Cobalt in Bend, OR.  Matthew likes to utilize what is available throughout the year in his cooking.



Chef Mark Hosack joins the Riverhouse on the Deschutes team most recently from Gracie’s Restaurant at Hotel deLuxe, where he honed his skill as executive chef, serving modern American fare to great acclaim. A native Texan, Hosack began his career at popular eateries in Houston after graduating from The Culinary Institute of America, but was soon drawn to the Pacific Northwest, and has been cooking in the Portland, Oregon area for the past 25 years.With a keen appreciation of the local producers and growers in Portland, Hosack has earned a fan following for his composed American comfort-style dishes that feature the finest seasonal produce, and will develop an original inspired menu for Currents.


BethlynBethlyn Rider has earned a reputation as one of the most friendly and experimental chefs in town. But along with curiosity and creativity sometimes comes relentlessness. Rider established her reputation (and following) as the executive chef for Broken Top Bottle Shop, which won the Source’s Best of Central Oregon for Vegetarian Food in 2014 under her leadership, and then branched out to start her Global Fusion Farm to Street Food Truck late last summer. And, less than a year later, she has now opened the doors to a brick-and-mortar restaurant—which, although sharing the “Global Fusion” name from her food truck and carrying the same attention to detail and postmodern sense of yummie food mashups, presents an almost entirely different menu and scene.“Global Fusion is my own twist to recepies where I combine cuisine from around the world such as indian food with an asian twist, or american and an african twist, french with an indian twist, and so much more.  Bethlyn has an unusual nack for creative ethnic combinations.”


Untitled2Philip Thornton’s hometown was Gainesville, FL but he has spent a considerable amount of time in the popular mountain destination Asheville NC.  He moved to Oregon to to chase his dream of being a Chef, to run a great kitchen team, to cook great food and fully understand his style and flavors. With 10 years under his belt and currently a chef of Jackalope Grill in Bend, “I’m here to show that this guy from the southeast is better than the competitors of the Northwest.”


rootcellerAnna Witham’s, founder of The Root Cellar, passion for food is evident in her ability to tell a story through a meal: gathering people in unexpected, ambient locations, and serving locally sourced ingredients: balancing nourishment, beauty and pleasure, with a moment of discovery on every plate. The Root Cellar creates thoughtful, hand-made dishes for catered events and pop-up dinners.

 2016 JUDGES

2017 Judges Coming Soon!


Renée Alexander grew up in North Carolina, where there are more pigs than people. Perhaps that’s why she thinks everything tastes better with bacon. The former managing editor of the Source Weekly currently lives in San Francisco, where she runs a boutique public relations firm and writes about food, booze, travel, and culture for Vice, Vice Munchies, Saveur, The Atlantic, Bay Area Bites, and 7×7 magazine. Her hobby is collecting tropical illnesses, including dengue


Sue Conrad-KEVIN KUBOTA-0062 copySue Conrad has been selling Real Estate at Coldwell Banker Morris since 2005.  She is consistently recognized by Coldwell Banker nationally for her accomplishments. Sue prides herself on the personal relationships she has with her clients that extends far past the close of escrow. Sue filmed a House Hunters episode on HGTV that aired in February and April.


CurleyKim Curly is the sales and marketing manager for “Rik’s Rubs,” a food seasoning company based in Bend, Oregon. Self proclaimed restaurant refugee, married to chef Rik Reynolds, for 20 years. Restaurants owned include “The Bagel Stop” in Bend and “St. Charles Deli” in Atlanta, Ga.  Cookbook author, “The Country Kitchen Cooks across the USA,” based on the 10 month road-trip Kim and Rik took in 1999. Former Talk Show Host “Food and Wine with Kim Curley” on NewsTalk 750 WSB in Atlanta, Ga. Guests on her show included Emeril Lagasse, Alton Brown, Paula Deen and Mark Bittman. To sum it up, Kim is a major food fan!


Tim Hanni is a professionally trained chef, certified Master of Wine and internationally recognized “flavor maven”. He has been involved in the wine and food industries in education and flavor research for over 35 years. Hanni has a unique perspective on food and wine based on his research into the individual nature of how we taste, sensory science and wine and culinary history.


nickolNickol Hayden-Cady has been working in the culinary industry for over fifteen years. She has earned her Associates Pastry Arts Degree from the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY.  Nickol has worked under top certified chefs and pastry chefs in California, Seattle, New York, London and Oregon.  After spending two years in Portland, OR working as the Executive Pastry Chef and Consultant for Papa Haydn’s, she was happy to come back to Bend and open Foxtail Bakeshop located in the thriving Galveston Street Community.  Foxtail is a small batch from scratch local pastry shop that focuses on local high quality ingredients in all their pastries & cakes.  Each recipe is thoughtfully crafted to excite the palate and eye of each customer.



Brian Kerr began his culinary adventure in May 1987 – when he took a restaurant training course at southwestern Oregon community college.  Brian moved to Corvallis and took his first restaurant job at The Tower of London. 1993 – 1999 Found Brian everywhere from remote Russia cooking for adventure fisherman through an assortment of golf clubs. In 1999 Brian found himself in Cannon Beach at The Stephanie Inn, a boutique hotel with a 13 table dining room that did buffet breakfast and four-course, prix-fixe menu for dinner that changed every day.  Chef Brian then joined the team at Mortons Steakhouse, where he worked there as the chef for 2 years and worked his way into the food and beverage controller position.  He excelled at Mortons for 8 years until the siren song of Deschutes Brewery in Bend rang into his ears in March of 2013.


stephanieStephanie Schultz got her start in the food industry in 1990 as a host in the Staton Hills winery tasting room in Yakima, Washington. She went on to establish a micro business selling cheesecakes and custom wedding cakes. In the autumn of 2001, she attended the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. “There I studied with Jacques Torres, Jacque Pepin and Andre Soltner concentrating in bread and pastry”. Since moving to Bend, she has opened a small scale wholesale bakery and has worked closely with Worthy Brewing in the design of their kitchen and initial menu.


sipeLisa Sipe is a fine artist, multi-disciplinary designer, marketer and visionary inspired by culture and connectivity.  She is the co-founder of Binary Star Systems, a digital agency in Bend and the co-creator of FoodFu, a real-life cooking competition app that makes it easy to play Top Chef or Chopped with your friends. She’s a lover of culinary experiences but hates choosing from a menu, she prefers to be surprised. Her favorite food adventure was in Bologna, Italy where she learned the art of pasta making from an Italian family in their private home.


StarkRiley Starks has been a commercial fisherman since 1973. He has lived on tiny Lummi Island since 1992, reef-netting just off-shore each summer. His desire for peak flavor experiences has led him to grow produce and chickens at Nettles Farm, bring unrivaled dining experiences at the Willows Inn, and to co-found Lummi Island Wild.


lanceLance Steffen has been involved professionally in the wine industry for over 20 years as a wine store owner, distributor and wine judge. With a passion for food and wine he has traveled the world to learn about cultures and cuisine and how to pair them with unique regional wines. Growing up in Europe in a family that loved to entertain, he acquired a passion tor appreciating the way food defines families and cultures around the world


nikiNiki Timm is the founder and current President of Central Oregon Locavore and a Bend native who grew up eating fresh seasonal produce from her mother’s garden, fresh raw milk from the local co-op, and various local foods of all kinds. After earning a bachelor’s of science in nursing from Oregon Health Sciences University in Ashland, Niki moved to Denver where she worked as a labor and delivery nurse. It didn’t take long for her to become disillusioned with city life.Since Nicolle’s return to Bend assisted in forming a small food co-op, which over time has evolved into the current nonprofit, Central Oregon Locavore. Niki’s vision is to see the local food movement explode onto the scene and reconnect us with our food,our neighbors and with the Earth


eliz WElizabeth W is a farm-raised, native Central Oregonian. She spent her 20s studying international business, graphic communication, landscape architecture and various cultures via world travel. A hunger for her high desert roots led her to Bend in 2010 where she began managing Agricultural Connections. Ultimately she bought the business and in five years has managed big changes, developing a commercial client list and getting an employed staff. She is active in the local food community and serves on the High Desert Food and Farm Alliance Board. Screenshot 2016-06-03 08.58.59