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 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 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 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 Pronghorn’s  Chef Team

Chef 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.


Sous Chef Erich Fosbury is a graduate of Western Culinary in Portland and has over 20years of professional cooking experience. He as worked all over Oregon, from Meriwethers in Northwest Portland to former Sous Chef at Zydeco and Five Fusion in Bend.  Erich is currently the Chef de Cuisine of the Chanterelle and Cascada restaurants at Pronghorn Resort. He believes in sourcing local/seasonal and responsible  ingredients.
Erich has a passion for family as well, when he is not in the kitchen he spends time with his Wife and two young daughters.  He is an avid Mountain biker as well.  Thanks


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


David Gilbert learned to enjoy a global perspective on food and can appreciate everything from street food to haute cuisine.aised on Taiwanese & American home cooking with healthy doses of Mexican cuisine in sunny San Diego and loves to add his own twist to recipes and find great joy in sharing the experience of cooking with friends & family.  A Real Estate Broker by trade, he would surely be a Food Network star in another life!  Some of his all-time favorite things to eat include Biscuits & Gravy, Fried Chicken, Salt & Pepper Shrimp, Peking Duck, Udon Soup, and Bread Pudding.

Julia Buckland is a Realtor at Coldwell Banker Morris Real Estate and although she has been in the real estate business for 27 years, her former career was in the restaurant industry.  She worked as aserver, bartender, and manager at various restaurants in the LA and Denver area.  She has a passionate love of good food and enjoys taking cooking classes and watching her favorite cooking shows on TV.  Julia has lived all over the United States and has traveled the world extensively with her husband, Eric, always in search of amazing food and new ideas to bring home to her own kitchen.

Jim Moran is a Broker with Coldwell Banker Morris since 2010. He’s lived in and eaten a lot in Seattle and the Bay Area. He loves to cycle, paddle board, hike and travel. He has lived here in Bend for the past 16 years.



Ken Navidi owns small local business in Historic Downtown Camas WA and Bend OR, Navidi’s. They offer quality products at a reasonable price. Since opening in November 2009 , they have made many friends by sharing our knowledge of how to spot quality and fresh foods. They not only offer fresh ingredients, but also teach how to cook with them. They offer a taste before you buy experience, by adding a smell and taste policy assure that you will like and enjoy every product you purchase at Navidi’s. They have a large and unique inventory of hard to find products not normally sold at the big retailers. Navidi’s introduces the latest and newest products each month and offers a large assortment of local products as well. They purchase and support local whenever they can. Come check them out, bring your friends and share in the unique experience of tastes from around the world!

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

Sheila G. Miller is the managing editor for Statehood Media, which puts out 1859 Oregon’s Magazine, OnTrak — adventure + lifestyle along the Amtrak Cascades route, and 1889 Washington’s Magazine, which debuted this year. A native Oregonian with a decade in Bend, Sheila worked previously as the city editor at The Bulletin. Depending on the night, you may find her basking in the glow of a Boneyard RPM IPA at Corey’s or the D&D or indulging in fine PNW cuisine at Tethrow or Zydeco


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!

Natalka Parker is a 25 year resident of Bend Oregon and has been selling Real Estate since she moved here. She is licensed with Coldwell Banker Morris Real Estate.  Her appreciation of good food is evident with her food photography. A regular patron of Bend’s finest restaurants and a world traveler tasting her way through the locals favorites.  “I love  beautifully plated food  and enjoy cooking for my family and friends”.

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.

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

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.

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.

Stephen Bancroft is recently retired from Hewlett Packard and the IT industry. He’s still taking on clients, including his father as his personal computer guru, though at a deeply negotiated family discount. He has always loved cooking, cooking shows, and cooking for friends and family. Giada, Bobby and Aldon are his heroes! He is looking forward to a lot of savory, a bit of sweet, and a ton of fun.


Sue Conrad-KEVIN KUBOTA-0062 copy

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.

T.R. McCrystal After completing his degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Management and laboring in the kitchens and restaurants of Southern and Northern California, 25 years ago made the conscious choice to move away from the frenetic pace of urbania and locate in the serene beauty of Central Oregon. Between restaurants (The Cottonwood Cafe, formerly Jen’s Garden), recreation (fly fishing and hiking), teaching (Culinary Arts at Sisters High School) and family (2 amazing daughters) T.R.’s time is in high demand but always available to lend a hand

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