Top Chef
June 16th & 17th, 2018

Competition will drive the festival with the exciting Top Chef Competition. 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.

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.

George Morris
from Bos TaurusTop Chef 2017 Winner

2018 Top Chef Competition Schedule – TBA!

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The Bos Taurus’ Chef Team

Chef Morris’ passion for cooking began early in life, stemming from an interest in food when he started cooking at home at the age of seven. He attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts. Chef Morris arrived Bos Taurus to captain the opening of Bos Taurus after tenure as Executive Chef at Madeline Hotel and Residences in Telluride. He is delighted to have the chance to get on stage in his new hometown.

The Suttle Lodge Chef Team

Chef Jacob Rodriguez, the Executive Chef of The Suttle Lodge and Boathouse is an LA native, now Sisters resident was raised on the flavors of Latin & Asian cuisine. It is this early exposure to worldly flavors that ignited his thirst for travel, via the spices and dishes of other locales, with the idea that eating the food of another culture is a friendly initiation into their culture. This sense of adventure and love of food and gathering people found Jacob in culinary school in San Diego. It is there that he learned the importance of a strong foundation of cooking, through repetition in skills to almost monotony and an appreciation for slow “grandma” style cooking. After all, you can’t cook for the future, if you don’t understand the past. Jacob’s food is the kind of food that feels and tastes well prepared. Nothing was rushed and you can taste it in the layers. Humble good food is the basis for Jacob’s food and it is quickly gaining the attention of Central Oregon and beyond.

The Sunriver Chef Team

Travis Taylor, Sunriver Resort Executive Chef

When I was 16, I took a cooking class and immediately knew I had found my calling.  Soon after, I received an apprenticeship at the Jacksonville Inn and fell in love with the inspiration of the food, kitchen, people, language, fire and knives.  Five years later I moved on to the McCaually House Inn where we grew a lot of our own produce.  It just made sense to me that chefs should be in the garden harvesting their own food and working with local farmers and producers. This was 20 years ago and the farm to table movement was still a ways off and I thought this was how everybody else did things. As soon as I started working at Sunriver Resort, I knew I’d found my place in the world.  Inspired by the region’s beauty, farms and producers, I knew I wanted to incorporate them into our dishes, and we decided the only way we were going to be able to cook all the great things in our heads was to write a fresh menu every day. So that’s what we did for the next few years and when I became the Executive Chef at The Crosswater Grille, and we continued to push the boundaries and refine our techniques. Now 24 years into my career, I am Sunriver Resort’s Executive Chef, overseeing banquets and nine dining outlets.  I am driven by the philosophy that you should buy the best ingredients, have a relationship with your producers and be true to the region and seasons. Surround yourself with great likeminded people and have fun. And every day I am still inspired by our people, food and of course the language, fire and knives.

Fabrice Beaudoin, Sunriver Resort Lodge Executive Chef

I am currently the Sunriver Resort Lodge Executive Chef, overseeing Carson’s American Kitchen, Twisted River Tavern, Merchant Trader Café and The Backyard kitchens.  I have had a long career in the culinary arts, beginning with graduating from culinary school in Paris in the mid 1970’s. Over the course of my career I have worked at high end restaurants in Paris, Houston, and Vail – and I’ve worked in the kitchens of several Michlin 3-starred chefs. I came to Sunriver in 2006 and have been integral in menu development as well as heading the kitchens first at The Grille at Crosswater and then for The Sunriver Resort Lodge.

The Market of Choice Team

Chef Greg Cabeza

Artisan Chef Greg Cabeza developed a respect for food and the land growing up in rural Idaho, where hunting, fishing and gardening was a way of life for him and his family. Living off the land was never easy, Greg says, but it did foster creativity. “Much of it was out of necessity, but it was engrained pretty early on,” he says. Today, Greg is a trained artisan chef who perfects many of the recipes created in Market of Choices kitchens. “Our chefs have a tradition of creating and submitting innovative recipes for the deli and catering departments,” Greg says. “I collect, test and enhance those recipes, bringing as much of an artisan approach to the process as possible. Once it’s right, I demonstrate the recipes in all the stores.” And as much as Greg enjoys a gourmet meal, he also takes great pleasure in simpler foods. If his last meal on earth could be a warm loaf of fresh bread, some air-cured salami and a magnificent glass of wine, he’d be one step from heaven, he says. “That’s how I like to eat; it’s how I like to live – simply,” he says. That’s the essence of our Market Kitchens, Greg says, its’ about simplifying life without sacrificing quality. Because everything is made with only the highest quality ingredients, customers realize that it’s much more than fast food, he says” Living in Oregon – with its abundance of fruits, nuts, mushrooms and seafood – is a gift that should be enjoyed, he says. His food philosophy? “Live well. Eat well.”

Market of Choice Chef Team

Michael Stanton, Executive Chef

Classically trained, Executive Chef Michael Stanton has nearly 25 years of experience creating fine French and American cuisine at award-winning restaurants, five-star hotels and high-quality catering operations.

An upstate New York native, Stanton worked in New York City at Gray Kunz’s legendary Lespinasse, after completing his studies at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. He then left New York to become Sous Chef at the renowned French restaurant La Cachette in Los Angeles, where he worked under the tutelage of Jean-Francois Meteigner, Maître Cuisinier de France. By incorporating classic French techniques with kitchen brigade standards and a passion for fine American cuisine, he developed his own style of running a kitchen and executing dishes. Most recently, he was the chef at the famed Heathman Restaurant in Portland, Oregon, where he became a local star and grew his appreciation for Pacific Northwest fare.

Today, Stanton leads the culinary team at Currents Restaurant, at Riverhouse on the Deschutes, in Bend, Oregon. With carefully curated ingredients from the diverse bounty of Bend, Stanton delivers light, bold and clean flavors in contemporary interpretations of classic French cuisine. Deceptively simple dishes rotate with the seasons and showcase the character and quality of each ingredient. Incorporating modern American and international influences, Stanton orchestrates an exciting dining experience that reflects the unique energy of Bend’s iconic Riverhouse on the Deschutes.


 2018 JUDGES

Lance 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

Lisa Sipe is a creative entrepreneur and the co-creator of the FoodFu suite of mobile cooking and drinking apps. Sipe’s games inspire people to create and share homemade food and cocktails through interactive, real-life game play, similar to Top Chef or Chopped. When she’s not encouraging people to play with food you’ll find her writing about food adventures, booze and local restaurants in the Source Weekly


Matt Perry moved to Bend in 2005 and opened Savory Spice in Bend in 2011.  Prior to becoming Central Oregon’s Spice Merchant, he worked in fine dining, caramel corn, and of course sheet metal fabrication.  His passion for local food, farms, and ranches inspired he and his wife’s interest in opening Savory Spice and he has enjoyed getting to know many of the folks making Central Oregon a great place to cook and eat!


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 dengu.

Sam La Duca: A passion for hospitality runs in the La Duca family. When his family relocated from New York to Boca Raton, Florida to pursue the restaurant business, Sam was introduced at the tender age of 11 to all facets of food service. He assisted in opening two seafood restaurants in south Florida, working every position from dishwasher to host, server to bartender. He obtained his Associate of Science Degree in Hospitality Management from Valencia College in Orlando, while working for the Walt Disney Company specializing in Outdoor Food and Beverage. He went on to manage Clamsters restaurant for nine years, and assisted in the opening of Saddle Jacks, another family-owned restaurant in central Florida. LaDuca relocated to Oregon with his family in 2004, progressing with employer Red Robin as General Manager. The past 6 years, Sam has been a hospitality management instructor at COCC teaching classes.  He has a passion for teaching students about the hospitality industry and how they can make Bend one of the top vacation destinations.


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