Fans of culinary competition shows will baste in the company of two local chefs as they go head-to-head in the YorKitchen Chef Challenge in Central Market.
The event will pit Front Porch Cafe Chef Erik Gotwalt against Chef Andrew Barnes of The Busy Bee. Beginning at 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 23, the mystery ingredient will be revealed to the chefs for the eighth iteration of the culinary clash.
Past mystery ingredients stirring the chefs' creativity have ranged from chocolate to potato flakes.
The competitors have just 30 to 45 minutes for each course to imagine their dish and incorporate the mystery ingredients. The chefs create an appetizer, a dinner and a dessert over the course of the evening, with the audience judging the dishes based on the presentation, taste and creativity of the dishes.
Event coordinator Aeman Bashir said the event was started in May 2012 as a way to not only showcase the kitchen, but to provide exposure for local chefs and restaurants. The YorKitchen facility, a shared commercial kitchen incubator located in the annex of Central Market House, helps local small food businesses and entrepreneurs by providing commercial kitchen space for rent.
In addition to the kitchen facilities, YorKitchen provides business incubator services, Bashir said, such as business plan development, pricing strategy and licensing assistance. Bashir said that since opening two-and-a-half years ago, YorKitchen has helped 34 small businesses to open and 14 small businesses to expand - some significantly, she added.
Thursday's event will be the third time for veteran competitor Barnes. Bashir said for each event a local chef chooses their challenger. Gotwalt - chef of The Front Porch Cafe, a recently opened farm-to-table bistro in a converted York City mansion - threw the gauntlet down, challenging Barnes.
Bashir said the event is on track to sell out, as it usually does. The next Chef Challenge will be held on Thursday, March. 13.
"It's a fun, interactive event," Bashir said. "It's pretty lively by the end of the night."
Score the chefs
Local chefs go head-to-head in the YorKitchen Chef Challenge at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, in Central Market, 37 W. Clarke Ave., York.
You will receive six plates of food to try throughout the evening. This is a BYOB event.
Limited seating is available. Tickets: $55. Information: www.yorkitchen.com.