Five Central Texas Chefs to Cook for Culinary Icons in First Wine and Food Pairing Competition

Five Central Texas Chefs to Cook for Culinary Icons in First Wine and Food Pairing Competition

Competition will feature five Hill Country chefs, 3 courses each and 15 Texas wines

Finalists for Texas’ first regional wine and food pairing competition have been named and will sharpen their knives to cook for renowned culinary icons Jacques Pépin and John Besh, among other distinguished judges, on Friday, June 3, 2011 during the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. I

Five impressive chefs selected from a field of several dozen competitors from Central Texas will prepare their dazzling three-course menus of regional foods paired with Texas appellation wines at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center, Tejas Room on the campus of The University of Texas.

“Our finalist chefs really took the challenge to heart and prepared menus that demonstrated how thoughtfully paired wine and food can elevate a meal to a different level,” said Marla Camp, publisher of Edible Austin magazine and co-presenter of the competition along with Terry Thompson-Anderson of Texas Food and Wine  And they did take this seriously. “Once I tasted the beef….my mind burst with hints of pepper, spice and earthiness…I knew exactly what was needed to ensure the wine and food were on the same field,” said one of the contestants.

The finalist chefs who will compete in the June 3 competition include:

• Kelly Casey, executive chef at Hudson’s on the Bend restaurant, Austin, since 2002. She received her culinary training at Walt Disney World in Orlando where she completed a three-year apprenticeship. After returning to Texas, she worked for Doubletree Hotel, Bahama Breeze and Star Canyon before joining owner/chef Jeff Blank at Hudson’s on the Bend at Lake Travis. The restaurant has been recognized by The New York Times, Gourmet, Texas Monthly and Condé Nast Traveler.

Patrick James Edwards, sous chef, Bin 555 Restaurant and Wine Bar, San Antonio. Edwards received his culinary education at St. Phillip’s College in San Antonio. He has worked with Damien Watel at Ciao Lavanderia as chef de cuisine and became executive chef at a second location of Ciao before accepting the position of sous chef with longtime friend, Jason Dady at Bin 555. He also spent several stints in some of America’s best restaurants including Home Restaurant in Atlanta with Chef Richard Blais and WD-50 in New York under Chef Wylie Dufresne.

David Garrido, owner and executive chef, Garrido’s Restaurant, Austin. Garrido has won several national accolades and has been invited on several occasions to cook at the esteemed James Beard House in New York City. He speaks across the country about Texas food and agriculture and donates his time and talent to several community and food industry organizations. He opened Garrido’s Restaurant in 2009 which serves modern Mexican cuisine with Spanish influences and reflects the chef’s philosophy of using fresh, local ingredients.

Josh Raymer, executive chef, Navajo Grill, Fredericksburg, Texas. Raymer grew up in Texas but moved to Colorado to work for Chef Bradford Heap of Colterra Restaurant and was part of the burgeoning farm-to-market movement that was developing there. He also worked with soon-to-be Michelin-starred chef Mathew Bousqet. Navajo Grill has been recognized by Texas Monthly, Wine Spectator, The Los Angeles Times, Southern Living, The Washington Post, Condé Nast Traveler and National Geographic.

Peter Smith, executive chef at Marriott Hill Country Resort and Spa, San Antonio. A native of Queensland Australia, Smith began his culinary career working at Bathers Pavilion, which at the time was named Australia’s restaurant of the year. He has worked internationally in London, Bangkok and Vancouver. In 2009, he relocated to Texas with the JW Marriott to open the much-anticipated resort and spa in San Antonio. He was recently named JW Marriott International “Rising Star Chef of the Year.”

Distinguished judges are: Jacques Pépin, world-renowned chef, television celebrity, cookbook author and culinary educator; Francois Dionot, founder and director of L’Academie de Cuisine; John Besh, chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and television personality; Michael Bauer, executive food and wine editor for the San Francisco Chronicle; and Paula Lambert, cookbook author and founder of The Mozzarella Company.

Major sponsors of this event include AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center, GO TEXAN, Whole Foods Market®/Greenling Organic Delivery, Trattoria Lisina/Salt Lick, Glazer’s Distributing.

Edible Austin is a quarterly publication that celebrates Central Texas food culture and is a member of Edible Communities, 2011 James Beard Foundation Award winner for Publication of the Year. Texas Food and Wine Gourmet is a website devoted to supporting the unique culture of food and wine in Texas. The event benefits the newly launched non-profit Center for Wine and the Culinary Arts in Fredericksburg.

Tickets are $100 and available for purchase on the event website:

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