Chefs and students to compete in “Perfect Bite” competitions

by | Updates

Here at Culinary Crossroads, we’re big fans of food sports. From burger battles to bake-offs, we love to see what competing chefs can cook up on the spot.

We got a chance to enjoy a competition up close last September, when our partners at Paramount Schools of Excellence launched their inaugural Perfect Bite chef competition as part of the school’s annual TURN Festival.

The festival, to be held this year on Sept. 23, celebrates sustainable living and provides a day of fun and education for students, families and the school’s Brookside campus neighborhood on Indianapolis’ eastside. In past years, the fest included a separate, ticketed chef dinner. But starting last year, the Perfect Bite competition offered a delicious tasting event that featured 20 top chefs vying for the People’s Choice Award for the best bite, which won three chefs a “golden ticket,” qualifying them for the World Food Championships in Dallas in November.

Those winning chefs then engaged in an on-the-spot cooking competition, selecting a protein and basic ingredients from a pantry. But the audience got involved too, cheering on the competitors and purchasing additional ingredients for the chefs. And this year’s competition looks to be even more exciting.

This year there’s also a student category, part of Paramount’s Junior Chef Academy program. Paramount students who have participated in the school’s Junior Chef Academy will compete during this year’s TURN Fest to create their own “perfect bites.” Winning students get their own golden tickets for a new junior division at the World Food Championships.

But there’s a serious purpose behind creating the junior chef program at Paramount, said school CEO Tommy Reddicks.

“The Junior Chef Academy is designed to attack food insecurity at the source, which is training up our students to try to become better prepared to meet the needs of food challenges and also see a new career pathway,” Reddicks told WISH-TV news recently. “And it’s about getting trained up in all these great culinary skills with an opportunity to really produce at a state and world level.”

The TURN Festival and the student competition is Saturday, Sept. 23, with the Perfect Bite chef competition taking place Sunday, Sept. 24. Proceeds from the competition benefit Paramount Schools of Excellence, Victory College Prep and Purdue Extension programming, as well as the participating chefs. Check out Paramount Schools of Excellence for more info on the school, TURN Festival and the Junior Chef Academy.

Recent Blog Posts

Counting down to the World Food Championships

Counting down to the World Food Championships

Have you noticed our countdown clock at the top of our Culinary Crossroads website? If you haven’t visited our site, please check it out. Our “countdown to the throwdown” clock shows that it’s less than 150 days until the World Food Championships begin in Indy! The...

Enjoy ice cream, onion rings, history and more in Shelbyville

Enjoy ice cream, onion rings, history and more in Shelbyville

Shelbyville, known more for pristine farmland than as a food destination, offers delicious surprises while providing a healthy dose of Hoosier history. Situated where the Big Blue and Little Blue rivers converged, the town has the distinction of being the one-time...

Around the world and back home again with Chef Daniel Orr

Around the world and back home again with Chef Daniel Orr

Columbus, Ind., native Daniel Orr left Indiana for culinary school, and his career took him around the world, from Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe to some of New York City’s top fine-dining establishments. In 2008, he came home, embraced his “inner Hoosier,” as...

Congrats to first-ever Hardesty Scholars at Ivy Tech

Congrats to first-ever Hardesty Scholars at Ivy Tech

As the school year wraps up, all of us here at Culinary Crossroads would like to congratulate our first two Hardesty Scholars on a great year! Working with the Hardesty family and Ivy Tech Community College, Culinary Crossroads awarded the first Chef Greg Hardesty...

Greencastle offers regional charm and diverse dining

Greencastle offers regional charm and diverse dining

Greencastle, a quaint town in Putnam County with a population of just under 10,000 and home to DePauw University, is a hidden gem for food enthusiasts. Its dining scene is a delightful blend of regional charm and diverse culinary experiences. While students might opt...