Inaugural “Chefs Taste Challenge” to be Held in New Orleans


Foodies and chefs, take note! A fun, fresh and new national cooking competition and food tasting event will launch this summer, promising to challenge the skills of professional chefs and delight the palates of the most discerning gourmands. The Farm to Table Chefs Taste Challenge (CTC), scheduled for August 7, 2015 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, aims to broaden awareness for the use of fresh, healthy, sustainable ingredients in preparing food.

Ten chefs from various geographical regions across the United States will compete to create the best dish that utilizes farm-fresh items from a pantry of seasonal ingredients donated by State Agricultural Departments and other donors. Attendees will enjoy tasting portions of each chef’s creation and will vote on a “Fan Favorite.”

The dishes will also be judged by a panel of industry-renowned judges, including Chef Sue Zemanick, the 2014 James Beard award recipient for “Best Chef – South,” Certified Master Chef Brad Barnes of the Culinary Institute of America, and Chef Kevin Belton of the New Orleans School of Cooking. The top two dishes will receive Gold and Silver Chefs Taste Challenge awards, and all 10 selected chefs will receive national recognition for their participation in the Chefs Taste Challenge.

Interested chefs who epitomize the farm to table movement are encouraged to apply.  Please refer to for additional information, rules, and an online submission form. The deadline for chef applications to be submitted is April 15th, 2015. Applications will be reviewed by the Farm to Table Executive Advisory Council.

Tickets for the event will go on sale to the public in May and will be available on the event website at Event proceeds will support the Farm to Table International Conference and the SoFAB Institute.

The Chefs Taste Challenge is produced by the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, in partnership with the SoFAB Institute, Centerplate,  and the LSU AgCenter. The CTC is held in conjunction with the Farm to Table International Conference, taking place August 8-10, 2015 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. F2Ti explores the cultivation, distribution and consumption of food and drink sourced locally to globally. The CTC and F2Ti take place in tandem with the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Annual Foodservice & Hospitality EXPO, an event featuring related exhibits and attracting food and beverage professionals from across the country.