Chef cook-off event to debut at Fayetteville Roots Fest this year

Since the festival began in 2009, shining a light on local food and farms has been a major part of the Fayetteville Roots Festival.

In addition to showcasing some of the best folk and Americana music from around the country, the festival has also put a spotlight on the local chefs that have prepared food for festival attendees using ingredients from farms around the region. The idea was to highlight the impressive culinary scene in Fayetteville and, as organizers have told us in the past, “to make our local farmers feel like the rockstars they are.”

This year, however, the event is taking the food aspect of the festival to a whole new level.

Organizers recently announced that the first ever Chef Cook-Off event will be part of the 2015 Fayetteville Roots Festival.

The Iron Chef-style cook off will take place at the Fayetteville Town Center on Saturday, Aug. 30 during the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market.

The event will feature teams of chefs from Benton and Washington County paired up to create their best dish made exclusively from Fayetteville Farmers’ Market produce and local protein from Crystal Lake Farms. The chefs will compete for local food charities, and the winners will score $5,000 worth of frozen chicken for their non-profit of choice.

Judges will pick the winner based on overall taste, use of market ingredients, presentation, execution, and best use of a mystery ingredient.

Participants include Darwin Beyer (Meiji), Jason Paul (Heirloom), Jared Hickman (Greenhouse Grille), Justus Moll (River Grill), Ethan Altom (Bordinos), William Lyle (Eleven), Patrick Lane (Arsaga’s at the Depot), and Michael Robertshaw (Pressroom).

Sounds like a good time to us.

It all starts at 10 a.m., with cook time set for 11 a.m, and an award presentation will take place at noon. The cook off is free to attend, and open to the public.