The Epicurean Hotel is hosting the first-ever Epic Chef Showdown to benefit Feeding America Tampa Bay, the area’s largest food rescue and distribution organization. Sponsored by Florida Blue, the Epic Chef Showdown is a seven-week competition pitting eight of the Tampa Bay area’s top restaurants against each other in a friendly cooking competition judged by a panel of local and national celebrities.
Each week, beginning Monday, July 27, two competing chefs will receive a mystery box of ingredients not commonly prepared together, and will be challenged to create two unique dishes under the pressure of the clock. When time is up, each dish will be judged and one restaurant will be eliminated, with the winner moving on to the next round. Other competition dates are August 3, 10 and 17 (first round), August 24 and 31 (semi-finals) and September 14 (finale). All Epic Chef Showdown events will be held in the Epicurean Theatre from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Participating local restaurants include Cena, Fodder and Shine, Mise en Place, Parkshore Grill, Pearl in the Grove, The Refinery, Rooster & The Till and Z Grille. Each week, the event will be hosted by Benjamin Coutts, area manager for Augustan Wine Imports and Premier Beverage Company. For the September 14 finale, Coutts will be joined by celebrity cohost Emily Ellyn, the “Retro Rad Chef” from Food Network.
Standing judges for each week include Whitney Miller, best known as the first U.S. “Masterchef” from the popular FOX show, and David Morris, a regular contributor to Creative Loafing. One additional celebrity judge will rotate each week to round-out the judging panel. The finale will be judged by Simon Majumdar, world-renowned broadcaster and author regularly featured on Food Network shows such as Iron Chef America, The Next Iron Chef, Cutthroat Kitchen and Beat Bobby Flay.
“It’s great to be hosting this fun and innovative competition, but we’re more focused on helping to bring awareness to the hunger issues in our community,” said Tom Haines, general manager of the Epicurean Hotel. “We look forward to further supporting the mission of Feeding America Tampa Bay through the Epic Chef Showdown.”
“Our corporate partnership with the culinary-themed Epicurean Hotel is a perfect fit and provides great opportunities for our organizations to work together to continue to educate our community on hunger, which affects one in seven adults and one in four children in the Tampa Bay area,” said Thomas Mantz, executive director of Feeding America Tampa Bay.
Epic Chef Showdown events will take place at the Epicurean Hotel’s Epicurean Theatre from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. A limited number of tickets to the public are available for $75, which includes a four-course menu with wine pairings, inspired by the participating restaurants and Élevage. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.EpicChefTampaBay.com.
Florida Blue is the title sponsor, however, other sponsors for the Epic Chef Showdown include Jackson Family Wines, Creative Loafing, Shun Knives, Viking, Premier Beverage, Bern’s Fine Wines & Spirits and Harvard Jolly Architecture.
For more information on Feeding America Tampa Bay, visit www.FeedingAmericaTampaBay.org. For more information on The Epicurean Hotel, visit www.EpicureanHotel.com.
Feeding America Tampa Bay
Founded in 1982, Feeding America Tampa Bay is the largest food rescue and distribution organization in the community, serving a food-insecure population of more than 700,000 people in a 10-county area. Feeding America Tampa Bay recovers surplus food donations from local growers, manufacturers, supermarkets and organized community food drives and distributes it to those in need through a partnership network of more than 600 faith-based and other incorporated non-profit hunger relief organizations. Over the last five years, Feeding America Tampa Bay has supplied more than 100 million pounds of food – enough to provide more than 3 million meals every month to those who would otherwise go hungry.
About Mainsail Lodging and Development Group
Mainsail Lodging and Development is a Tampa-based hospitality company that develops and operates lodging products in the Southeastern US and the Caribbean. Their properties include Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina (ScrubIsland.com), a private island resort in the British Virgin Islands and member of Autograph Collection® of Marriott International; Mainsail Beach Inn (MainsailBeachInn.com), a boutique beachfront hotel and marina on Anna Maria Island, Florida; Mainsail Tampa Extended Stay and Mainsail Conference & Event Center (MainsailTampa.com) in Tampa, Florida; Mainsail South, a 328-unit apartment and corporate housing complex in South Tampa; and Mainsail Apartment Homes, a 360-unit apartment community in Tampa’s Westshore district. The company also operates corporate housing throughout the Southeast, exclusively managing the Florida market for Oakwood Worldwide® under both its ExecuStay® (ExecuStay.com) and Oakwood® (Oakwood.com) brands, while also operating ExecuStay (ExecuStay.com) in Georgia, portions of Alabama, and The Carolinas. The boutique food-focused Epicurean Hotel (EpicureanHotel.com)in Tampa, Florida was created in collaboration with the legendary Bern’s Steak House and was the first newly constructed property in the United States to join the Autograph Collection®.