Top Chef
June 16th & 17th, 2018

 

Congratulations to George Morris and his sous chef Nick on their defense of the Top Chef title, year 2!

It was a spirited and collegial competition with chefs from throughout Central Oregon.
Second place went to Jacob Rodriguez of Suttle Lake and Boathouse, a relative newcomer to the culinary worls here, closely followed by Michael Stanton of Currents at the Riverhouse and Scott Byers of Ronin a Japanese food cart at The Bite in Tumalo.
Thanks to one and all!

 

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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.

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2018 COMPETITORS

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.

Currents Chef Team

Michael Stanton, Executive Chef

A classically trained chef, Currents at the Riverhouse Executive Chef, Michael Stanton has more than 26 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, he worked in New York City with celebrated chefs at Les Celebrites and 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 combining classic French techniques with kitchen brigade standards and a passion for fine American cuisine, Stanton developed his own style of running a kitchen and executing dishes.

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.

Jackalope Grill Chef Team

Holly Stovall, Executive Chef

An Oregon Coast native, Holly is quickly making a name for herself throughout the Central Oregon food scene. At 25 years old, Holly has spent the majority of her life immersed in the technique and ingredients of Oregon cuisine, with the exception of spending several years in Central America where she fell in love with French-Caribbean and Spanish foods.  Holly is currently mentoring under the prominent Bend-based and Parisian-trained chef Tim Garling of Tim Garling’s Jackalope Grill. This will be her first culinary competition.

Andrew Bork, Sous Chef

Born and raised in Detroit, Andrew left Michigan as a teenager to pursue his culinary aspirations. Andrew started his career at the Great Harbor Yacht Club. quickly rising through the ranks at this 5 star yacht club. Spending the winters working in the High Desert and spending his summers working on Nantucket Island, Andrew has quickly made a career for himself in the Fine Dining world.  Andrew’s motivation and love of farm to table food brought him to Bend. His love of unique ingredients, paired with his incredible speed make him a top competitor in any culinary arena.

Ronin Sushi Chef Team

Scott Byers, Executive Chef

Scott Byers was raised on the East Coast, in the Washington, D.C. area. He moved West and quickly worked his way up the ranks at some of the nation’s finest restaurants. He is drawn to the simplistic art of Japanese cuisine and began studying ,implementing his love for Japanese food at several of the restaurants he was overseeing. “I knew right from the beginning that I wanted to emulate the simple beauty and wonderful flavors and pay homage to a fascinating culture that is Japan.”

It was during his time as Head Sous Chef at the historic Timberline Lodge’s, Cascade Dining Room, that he fell in love with Oregon. He spent several years exploring before he and his wife  made the move to Bend in 2003. He expanded his resume at some of Bend’s best ,Blue Fish Bistro, Café 28, Joolz, Kanpai and 5 Fusion.  All the while he saw a niche that needed filling by bringing quality sushi, at an affordable price, to the people of Bend. “Sushi started out as street food in Japan as a way that fishermen could share their catch with people and made for a delicious quick, healthy snack.” “Somehow we lost sight of that and turned it into an expensive, highly sought-after way to eat.” he ventured out on his own and opened Ronin (“A master less Samurai”). His concept Ronin Sushi and Japanese food truck is coming into its own and developing quite a following.  He takes great pride in providing his customer’s sustainably sourced fish, seafood and traditional Japanese dishes from his custom-built food truck in the heart of Tumalo, Oregon

Jake Peterson, Sous Chef

Jake was born in Portland, Oregon and moved to Bend in 1998. He started cooking at an early age, wanting to ensure that his hard-working mother would have a good meal waiting for her, after a long day of work. Little did he know that cooking would become his passion. He quickly realized that by joining the Mountain View High Schools culinary team and competing all four years in the pro-start culinary program, that he was carving out his career path. Jake started out humbly in the service industry as a bus boy. He was quickly identified by the restaurant’s chef as being a hard worker, highly motivated and had a true desire to learn about food. The chef recognized he was better suited to be working in the kitchen and offered him a job. He proved the chef right and became a stand out and valuable part of the kitchen ranks. His desire for travel plus his yearning to further his career found him working in some of the country’s best destination resorts including Glacier National Park and Pronghorn. Always one to want to develop and learn, he attended Oregon Culinary Institute, graduating with honors in 2008.  Armed with the fundamentals, he began developing his skills in classical French and Italian cuisine with a three-year stint at Clarkes in Portland. Jake also got a taste for Mediterranean food by becoming the Sous Chef at Joolz restaurant here in Bend. Although he enjoyed learning the many different techniques of global cuisine he was seemingly drawn to Japanese cooking. Jake landed a job at Kanpai and after tackling the “hot line” side of things he turned his focus to the art of rolling sushi. He spent five years honing his craft and learning as much as he could. In his final two years there he became Head Chef and a local’s favorite whenever he was behind the sushi bar. Sensing that it was time to make a change he began looking for a new culinary challenge and a new learning experience. He was offered a position at Ronin. Thus, beginning the latest chapter in his culinary Odyssey. He shares the philosophy of Ronin that sushi should be made with quality, care and passion. He’s been a vital part of the food trucks growth and success.

Rockin Dave’s Chef Team

Dave Flier, a.k.a. Rockin’ Dave’s, was born and raised in central Illinois where he grew up near his grandparents’ farm, which had a huge influence on him. His grandmother was always making something in the kitchen.

“This is a big part of why I love the farm-to-table mentality,” he said. “It was a way of life for them.”

After a few cooking classes in high school, Dave went on to culinary school, after which he trained at the Alpenglowe Stube, a fine-dining restaurant in Keystone, CO. He moved to Bend in 2000. His chef career continued, first at Brokentop Club and then at Cork in downtown Bend. He opened Rockin’ Dave’s Bagel Bistro and Catering in 2007, and has just opened Rockin’ Dave’s Backstage Lounge, a night-time dinner house restaurant in the back of Rockin’ Dave’s bistro. His made-from-scratch philosophy continues with his newest endeavor.

Deschutes Brewery Chef Team

Executive Chef Brian Kerr began his culinary adventure in May 1987 – when he took a restaurant training course at southwestern Oregon community college.  In September of that year Brian moved to Corvallis and took his first restaurant job at The Tower of London, where he attracted the attention of a chef at Michaels Landing. 1993 – 1999 Brian was everywhere from remote Russia cooking for adventure fisherman in the wild through an assortment of golf clubs. In 1999 Brian came to The Stephanie Inn in Cannon Beach, a boutique hotel with a dining room that four-course, prix-fixe menu for dinner that changed every day.  In 2000 he realized a lifetime goal, becoming a saucier , via 2 week course in advanced sauce making at the CIA. Chef Brian then joined the team at Mortons Steakhouse, where he worked there as the chef for 2 years , ultimately becoming 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.

 2018 JUDGES

Chef Joe Kim kicked off his career at the Take Japanese Restaurant in Oakland, CA as the apprentice of Toshio Togoshi, Master Japanese chef.  Joe then served as chef at Yoshino Sushi in Alameda under renowned chef Kazu Yamaguchi.  Immediately prior to his move to 5 Fusion, Joe worked with Master Chef Tadashi Kirmura at Kyoto Restaurant San Francisco and as chef at IKudon in Yokohama Japan.

Chef Joe has built an environment at 5 Fusion that is filled with passion, creativity, and a true desire to push the limits of cuisine in Bend.  In a nod to his talents, he has received three nominations for a James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef in the Northwest – the first and only Central Oregon chef to receive this honor.  Under his direction, 5 Fusion was selected the 2012 Central Oregon Restaurant of the Year, and the 2012 Source Weekly Reader’s Choice Restaurant of the Year.  Chef Joe won the 2012 Central Oregon Top Chef competition at the annual “Bite of Bend” event and was recognized by his peers as one of the Best Chefs in America for 2013.

In his “off” time, Joe has worked  at the famed French Laundry in Napa, with chef at Grant Achatz at Alinea in Chicago; this past year he spent time in the three Michelin Starred kitchens of Manresa in Los Gatos Ca,  MASA, and Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan.  These culinary adventures allow Chef Kim more opportunities to bring a world of tastes, inspiration and creativity back here to Central Oregon.

Keith Waldo With over 22 years of retail management experience, Keith has served as a Store Manager for both Lowes and Best Buy.  After years of customer service in retail management, Keith has developed key skills in; sales growth, profit growth, customer experience, conflict resolution, and strategic planning.  It’s a pleasure to welcome him to the Standard TV and Appliance family.

In his spare time, Keith enjoys baseball, hiking, camping, grilling and is an avid Ducks fan.

Thom Pastor As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Thom Pastor worked his way to becoming a chef in Eugene before he and his family moved to Bend in 2010. He entered healthcare as the Executive Chef of St. Charles Redmond. In 2014 he became the Nutrition Services Manager for St. Charles Madras and Prineville hospitals. Outspoken about promoting healthy and comprehensive hospital food service programs, a highlight for Thom was being selected to speak at Cornell’s Hospitality, Health and Design Symposium in 2016. He continues his industry advocacy nationally by serving on the Board of Directors for the Association for Healthcare Foodservice and locally on Cascade Culinary Institute’s Industry Advisory Board. This year Thom also joined with three other local chefs to raise money for ChefsCycle for No Kid Hungry. Together they raised more than $20,000 to support programs working to end child hunger

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.

Cameron Webster: Originally from Texas. Moved to Bend in  1996. Worked in many aspects of food service including management at sunriver resort in  the meadows the owls nest and convention and catering. Ten years with whole foods as a wine specialist and most recently the beverage manager over wine coffee and beer at Market of Choice. Very passionate about food and beverage world.

 

Rob Cammelletti has been living in Bend for over twelve years after relocating from his home state of Connecticut. Life back east involved working for the largest catering and event planning company in the area. He has held management positions at popular Central Oregon area restaurants over the past twelve years. Drake, Bend Golf & Country, The Summit Saloon & Stage, Slick’s Que Co., and Hola! in Sunriver to name a few. Rob’s passion for food and drink were born of his childhood experiences with his Italian grandfather, helping him bake and decorate wedding cakes and pastries, as well as preparing fresh pasta using handmade traditions from previous generations of his family. “My most memorable meal was a private four-hour lunch at a centuries old farm in the hills between Sorrento and Positano with my wife on our honeymoon while touring the Amalfi Coast.”

Trevor Phillips JennAir Market Manager, Oregon and SW Washington; I’ve been on the JennAir sales team for 5.5 years and in the appliance business for 8.5 years; Arizona State alumni, go Sun Devils! Enjoy outdoor activities like camping, hiking and biking (especially mountain biking), epic beer and visiting breweries/beer festivals all over the US, brunching with friends and reading (most genres).

KATHY HOVERMALE I have been a Bend resident since 1990 and have always enjoyed trying new foods and new restaurants. I have been a foodie for many years and also a wine appreciator. I worked as a server during the downturn of real estate at Bungalow Grill and also poured wine for Volcano Vineyards. I have been the member of a local gourmet club and enjoy celebrating new foods with others. I’m always up for trying something new and exciting and then enjoy sharing it with my friends. I especially like to host a themed potluck and have others contribute their own special dishes. Food is fun!

Nickol Hayden-Cady has been working in the culinary industry for over twenty years. She has earned her Associates Pastry Arts Degree from the Culinary Institute of America in 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, Nickol is happy to be back in Central Oregon with her Husband Joshua and son Jasper. Once in Bend, OR, Foxtail Bakeshop came to life. Her son’s nickname while he was in the womb was baby Foxtail, he was such a gift to her and her husband. Nickol loves creating beautiful things for people to enjoy!

Michele Morris is the founder and owner of Kindred Creative Kitchen, which offers cooking and baking classes for Youth and Adults.  Chef Morris has worked within the restaurant industry for over 20 years. After serving as a Chef-Instructor for the Baking and Pastry Program at Cascade Culinary Institute, she decided to share her passion with a larger variety of people. With opening Kindred Creative Kitchen, Michele had one goal in mind:  To bring people together one meal at a time.  Prior to Cascade Culinary Institute, Chef Morris’ local experience includes pastry chef and consultant for multiple locations including: Bourbon Street, The Blacksmith Restaurant, Dilusso and Fireside Red, Tethrow, Bend Golf and Country Club, Fireside Red, and Sunriver Resort. In Las Vegas, she worked at Alex while they maintained their 2 Michelin stars, Bellagio, The Venetian, and Bradley Ogden’s. At Bellagio, she worked on the restaurant team under 3 World-Champion Pastry Chefs.

Chef Luke Mason Learned haute cuisine and molecular gastronomy techniques, elevating dishes into artful works as beautiful as they were delicious. ( think twelve-dish, $140 tasting menu.) Mason rose to chef de cuisine, and Aziza kept winning its Michelin star during the two years that he ran its kitchen. He left in mid-2014 to try to earn his own star at Lincoln Park Wine Bar in San Anselmo, Calif., and the restaurant was successful, but Mason and his fiancee left for Bend eighteen months later. “We thought, ‘Can we buy a house here? Have kids here?’ No,” he said, referring to California. Bend offered a lifestyle similar to that of Sandpoint, with the benefit of having a significant part of the community hailing from major cities.

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