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.
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.
The 123 Ramen’s Chef Team
Anna Witham is on a mission to make beautiful, delicious, nourishing food more accessible to her community. She has been executing pop-up food events as the Root Cellar over the past three years, delighting hungry people on farms, in coffee shops, and in the middle of downtown Bend. In early 2017 she opened 123 Ramen, a somewhat unconventional restaurant which intends to strengthen the network of producers and consumers in Central Oregon by sourcing high-quality produce, meats, and eggs from local farms and ranches and preparing it simply, intelligently, and by-hand. Anna loves being on stage almost as much as she loves cooking and is delighted at the opportunity to be competing in this year’s Top Chef.
The Bethlyn’s Global Fusion’s Chef Team
Chef Bethlyn Rider has a deep appreciation for around the world cuisine, as well as their rich unique flavors. Cooking for her siblings at a very young age. Helped her develop a passion for food. By 22 she was Executive Chef. Left the culinary world by 25. Joined the corporate world. Missed the art, the restaurant chaos , and just the joy of bringing smiles to people’s faces. Decided to attend The Culinary Institute of America. Traveled the states, as well as Europe. Exposed to a variety of culinary cultures that fuels her life to fusion culinary delights together. Bethlyn now has her own restaurant. Bethlyn’s Global Fusion.
The Broken Top Bottle Shop’s Chef Team
Chef Ingrid Rohrer migrated from California and is delighted to be at the helm of the eclectic kitchen at Broken Top Bottleshop.Her first stop in Bend was as Executive Chef at 10 Below in Bend’s Oxford Hotel. There she built strong relationships with local producers and looks forward to cultivating those ties. Her 30-year restaurant background includes working as executive chef for California’s well-known Bon Appétit Management Company, which, while serving thousands of people per week, celebrates the use of local, organic products grown within 150 miles of their vast, nationwide network of cooking facilities. Her past experience includes influence by Mexican, Indian, and Chinese chefs. Ingrid is a graduate of the California Culinary Institute, now Le Cordon Bleu of San Francisco.
Brandon Tandy, sous chef at Broken Top Bottle Shop, moved to Bend, Oregon from Massachusetts in 2008. He studied conservation biology in college while supporting himself working in the kitchen. The ideas of sustainability, locally sourced food and healthy living serve as his inspiration. When first moving to Bend he worked for Tomo Sushi, assisted Thai on the Fly with special events, and managed The Summit Saloon & Stage kitchen. Before that he was a touring musician, and worked on a medium sized fruit farm. He has been sous chef to Ingrid Rohrer-Downer at the Broken Top Bottle Shop for almost two years. In his free time you can find him with his girlfriend and two dogs; exploring all central Oregon has to offer in terms of food, beer, mountains and wildlife.
The Deschutes Brewery’s Chef Team
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, where he attracted the attention of a chef at Michael’s Landing. The next 10 years Brian had various positions from cooking for adventure fisherman in Russia, an assortment of golf clubs to The Stephanie Inn in Cannon Beach, a boutique hotel with daily changing four-course, prix-fixe dinner menu. In 2000, he realized a lifetime goal, becoming a saucier via a 2 week course in at the CIA. Chef Brian then joined the team at Morton’s Steakhouse, ultimately becoming the food and beverage controller position. He excelled at Morton’s for 8 years until the siren song of Deschutes Brewery in Bend rang into his ears in March of 2013.
The French Market’s Chef Team
Chef Luke Mason began his culinary career as a child, cooking with his mother in North Idaho. Cooking through high school and into college, Luke finally made the decision to go 100% into the restaurant industry. Working in Santa Barbara and Portland, Luke found his way to San Francisco where he landed a job at single Michelin star Aziza. After a start at Garde Manger he rose through the ranks to Chef de Cuisine for the next 3 years. Luke moved to Bend for the outdoor lifestyle and is excited to bring European cuisine to Bend at The French Market.
The Pronghorn’s Chef Team
Chef 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.”
Michael Benson has over 12 years of experience. Graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Have worked in Michelin star restaurants, Coi, San Francisco. Kauri Cliffs, New Zealand. Aubergine, Carmel California.
The 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.
2017 Judges Coming Soon!
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.
Manya Williams is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Hatha Yoga Teacher and Plant Based Chef. She is also a partner at Agricultural Connections – an online marketplace that bridges the gap between farmers and consumers by supplying Central Oregon residents, companies, restaurants, and grocery stores with some of the freshest, local, and organically grown quality products east of the Cascades. Manya’s passion is providing people with the knowledge, tools and resources to take charge of their health by living sustainably, locally, + ethically.
Nickol 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.
Niki 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
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.
Stephanie 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.
Sue 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.
Kim 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.
Riley 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
Elizabeth 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.