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Area chefs compete in Diamond Chef Arkansas preliminaries | Restaurants

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Area chefs compete in Diamond Chef Arkansas preliminaries
Area chefs compete in Diamond Chef Arkansas preliminaries

NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Pulaski Technical College’s Diamond Chef Arkansas competition gets underway Tuesday, March 6, with preliminary rounds between eight area chefs taking place 1-7 p.m. in the Peabody Hotel Little Rock lobby.

Admission is free to the public.

The competition, sponsored by the Pulaski Technical College Foundation, follows the format of the popular television show “Chopped.” Chefs are presented a mystery basket of ingredients and have 40 minutes plus the help of one sous chef to prepare a dish using all the ingredients. Judges will score the dishes based on taste, presentation, creativity, technical/sanitation, and kitchen organization, and the top two chefs will advance to the Arkansas Diamond Chef finale on June 5 at the Statehouse Convention Center.


Preliminary competitions on Tuesday are as follows:

Heat #1 - 1 p.m. - Chef Cynthia Malik (Pulaski Technical College Arkansas Culinary School) vs. Chef Matt Cooper (Lulav)

Heat #2 - 2 p.m. - Chef Donnie Ferneau (Ferneau Restaurant) vs. Chef Jason Knapp (UCA/Aramark)

Heat #3 - 3 p.m. - Chef Bonner Cameron (Ya Ya’s Euro Bistro) vs. Chef Stephen Burrow (Clinton Presidential Center)

Heat #4 - 4 p.m. - Chef Jeffrey Ferrell (Capital Hotel) vs. Chef Diana Bratton (Taco Mama and Café 1217)

Heat #5 - 5 p.m.: Semi-finals

Heat #6 - 6 p.m.: Semi-finals


At the Diamond Chef Arkansas finale on June 5, chefs will create a three-course meal using a mystery ingredient announced just before the start of competition. Tickets to that event cost $150 per person and can be purchased by calling Yvette Parker at (501) 812-2271 or e-mailing yparker@pulaskitech.edu

Nearly 500 students attend the Pulaski Technical College Arkansas Culinary School, which offers associate degrees in culinary arts and in hospitality management and technical certificates in culinary arts, baking and pastry, and wine and spirit studies.

The Pulaski Technical College Foundation is the official fundraising and private gift-receiving agency for the college. Chartered as a non-profit organization for educational purposes, the foundation solicits and receives tax-deductible gifts and manages these gifts and bequests for the benefit of the college.

The college’s mission is to provide access to high quality education that promotes student learning, to enable individuals to develop to their fullest potential and to support the economic development of the state.