Some of us Little Rock bloggers and web site owners are so super excited for tomorrow night! We were given a table of 10 at The Diamond Chef Arkansas finale which benefits students at the Pulaski Technical College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute. Most of us know each other pretty well and interact at food events often. But we also have a couple of newbies who we also look forward to getting to know. It will be a great table!
The preliminary event was held March 6th at the immaculate new PTC CAHMI that was recently constructed and completed this past year. The space is quite impressive, and it's great to see Little Rock potentially turning out some great chefs in the future. Great job Todd! (Shout out to my friend!) Oh and the dish above was by newcomer Chef Payne Harding of Cache, one of Little Rock's newest, swankest restaurants in the River Market. He made it to the semifinal round, but not quite to the final. I wouldn't be surprised to see him doing more of these kind of things in the future though.
Speaking of people who often participate in these kind of things, I asked the inaugural winner of the 2008 Diamond Chef what he had to say about the Diamond Chef competition. Who won the very first Diamond Chef, you want to know? Who else - one of Little Rock's most talented (shout out to my other friend!) Donnie Ferneau. "I've been on the winning and losing end of Diamond Chef and enjoyed every minute of it. We get to be rock stars for a night..Diamond Chef is a major fundraiser for Pulaski Tech, helps the Culinary Program tremendously, and pads our egos a bit. I keep the trophy on my desk, and it sure looks pretty when the sunlight shines through it. Thank you Pulaski Tech!" Chef Ferneau will be in attendance this year with his mom as his date at the table of our mutual friend and head honcho of PTC CAHMI Todd Gold.
At our Arkansas Times Readers Choice Awards party just a few months ago, we celebrated at the culinary institute where Chef Philippe Ducrot, an instructor of the institute and finalist in the Diamond Chef preliminary presented 8 different pate options for guests at the party.
I repeat. Eight different pates. I sampled each and every one of them. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
Some of the many bites from the PTC CAHMI party for the AR Times and Readers Choice winners included enticing endive offerings. Reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Hitch.
More great food provided by our friends at Pulaski Tech. I think there's some top notch talent coming from there!
Pretty Sweets from PTC
And more unconventional Sweets!!
They're a great cause and they put on a great event. Get your tickets here. This year, three - time winner Executive Chef Daniel Capello of Chenal Country Club faces Executive Sous Chef Marc Guizol of the Capital Hotel.
Find out why 2012 Diamond Chef winner Chef Jason Knapp said, "It's the most intense 60 minutes a chef will have, not to mention there are 600 people watching your every move!" If you enjoy Food Network's Iron Chef, you'll enjoy Little Rock's Diamond Chef. It's live and it's local. Make plans to attend!
More information about the event can be found by Dining with Debbie, Southern Ash, and Fancy Pants Foodie.
Disclaimer: I was given a free seat at the event - lucky me!! All ideas in my post were mine. The table was totally complimentary and nothing was asked of us in return. I did ask other attendants to help promote the event if possible.