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    8 Top Restaurants
    from the Tampa Bay Area
  • fullslide2
    Only One Epic Chef
    will be declared the winner
  • fullslide6
    Our Community's
    fight against hunger
    Feeding American Tampa Bay

The Next Showdown:

There is 2 Weeks left. 2 showdowns to come.

Epic Chef Showdown




Epicurean Hotel and Feeding Tampa Bay are excited to welcome back this initiative for the third consecutive year as part of our partnership to fight hunger in the Tampa Bay community.

Epic Chef Showdown will pit the area’s top restaurants against each other in a friendly cooking competition. In each round, the two competing chefs will receive a mystery box of ingredients that are not commonly prepared together, and will be challenged to create two dishes that are unique, aesthetically pleasing, and of course delicious, under the pressure of the clock. When time is up, the chefs will present their prepared dishes to the judges to be critiqued and scored. At the close of the round, one of the chefs will be eliminated, and the winning chef moves on to the next round.

Epic Chef Showdown was created to bring the community together to not only enjoy the camaraderie and food from our local top restaurants, but to also take part in something much larger that is happening around us every single day. Hunger is a serious and severe issue in our area — affecting one in seven adults and one in four children. These are our neighbors, coworkers, veterans, and friends who need our help.

Come celebrate our local culinary talent, delicious food and lasting partnerships, but more importantly, join us to help our community in need.

Feeding American Tampa Bay


Founded in 1982, Feeding Tampa Bay is the largest food rescue and distribution organization in the community, serving a food-insecure population of more than 700,000 people in a 10-county area. Feeding Tampa Bay recovers surplus food donations from local growers, manufacturers, supermarkets and organized community food drives and distributes it to those in need through a partnership network of more than 600 faith-based and other incorporated non-profit hunger relief organizations. Over the last five years, Feeding Tampa Bay has supplied more than 100 million pounds of food – enough to provide more than 3 million meals every month to those who would otherwise go hungry.

Event Dates

Week 1 WINNER
Locale Market / Farm to Table localegourmetmarket.com
The Mill vs. Locale Market/Farm to Table

Monday, July 10th
6:30pm – 8:30pm

themillrestaurants.com restaurantbt.com
Mise en Place
Week 2 WINNER
Mise en Place miseonline.com
Parkshore Grille vs. Mise en Place

Monday, July 17th
6:30pm – 8:30pm

parkshoregrill.com miseonline.com
Week 3 WINNER
Rooster & the Till vs. Ava

Monday, July 24th
6:30pm – 8:30pm

roosterandthetill.com avatampa.com
Week 3 WINNER
Noble Crust noble-crust.com/
Noble Crust vs. Armani's

Monday, July 31st
6:30pm – 8:30pm

noble-crust.com tampabay.grand.hyatt.com/en/
hotel/dining/armanis.html
Week 5 WINNER
Mise en Place miseonline.com
Locale Market/Farm to Table vs. Mise en Place

Monday, August 7th
6:30pm – 8:30pm

localegourmetmarket.com miseonline.com
Week 6 WINNER
Noble Crust noble-crust.com
Ava vs. Noble Crust

Monday, August 21th
6:30pm – 8:30pm

avatampa.com noble-crust.com

VS.

Mise en Place vs. Noble Crust

Monday, August 21st
6:30pm – 8:30pm

CELEBRITY EMCEE & HOST

  • Topher-Morrison

    Topher Morrison

    Standing Judge

CELEBRITY EMCEE & HOST

  • Emily Ellyn

    Finale Judge

Guest Judges

  • Heather McPherson

    Heather McPherson

    Cookbook Editor & Food Writer

  • Liz Balmaseda

    Liz Balmaseda

    Palm Beach Post

  • Patricia Letakis

    Patricia Letakis

    Orlando Signature


  • Holly Kapherr Alejos

    Holly Kapherr Alejos

    Orlando Weekly

  • Rachelle Lucas

    Rachelle Lucas

    The Travel Bite

  • Joseph Hayes

    Joseph Hayes

    Orlando Magazine


  • Michell Stark

    Michelle Stark

    Food Editor, Tampa Bay Times

  • Eric Lackey

    Eric Lackey

    Executive Chef, Ulele

  • Michael Buttacavoli

    Michael Buttacavoli

    Executive Chef, Cena


  • Jeff Gigante

    Jeff Gigante

    Co-Founder, Ciccio Restaurant Group

  • Jon Atanacio

    Jon Atanacio

    Chef de Cuisine, Élevage

  • Courtney Orwig

    Courtney Orwig

    Chef de Cuisine, Haven


  • BT Nguyen

    BT Nguyen

    Chef & Owner, Restaurant BT

  • Dawna Stone

    Dawna Stone

    LocalsDISH / The Apprentice

  • Vincent Jackson

    Vincent Jackson

    NFL Wide Receiver


  • JP Peterson

    JP Peterson

    Co-host, 620 WDAE & Host, TB Lightning Hockey Night Live

  • Stacie Schaible

    Stacie Schaible

    Anchor, WFLA 8

  • Mike "Cowhead" Calta

    Mike "Cowhead" Calta

    Host, 102.5 The Bone

venue

The late Bern Laxer believed strongly that in the business of food and wine, one must be a student for life. In this spirit, dedicated experts, eager novices and everything in-between come together to teach and learn from one another at the Epicurean Theatre. Inspired by Epicurus’ own philosophical school, this space acts as a forum for the open discussion of a range of topics, from cultural trends to the art of mixology and cooking techniques.

Welcome to our 40-seat fully equipped Viking showroom kitchen!


hotel

1207 South Howard Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33606

813-999-8702(Local)
813-269-4902 (FAX)

sponsors

Epic Chef is brought to you in part by these proud sponsors:

Florida Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • ©2017 Epicurean Hotel & Bern's Steak House.
speaker Bio image

What do you get when you mix down-home values with quirky up-town flair and a solid culinary education?

A deliciously unique cooking personality.

- Chef Emily Ellyn

Chef and culinary educator Emily Ellyn is the Home Economics teacher you’ve always wanted! She single handedly started the Retro Rad cooking movement and encourages everyone to dig through their mother’s recipe box, dust off their pressure cookers, and take the old and make it new. She takes the retro, remixes it, and makes it RAD.

With her quirky persona and trademark cat-eye glasses, you’ll find this retro rad diva cooking up fun and inspiring audiences at food events around the world; all while developing her culinary television career and finishing her Ph.D. in Food Service Education. Emily also donates her time helping non-profit organizations including Florida Hospital and Give Kids The World, writes for “edible” and “BAR” magazines,and lectures at the University of Central Florida. Through it all, she’s gained a loyal cult following. You’ve seen her on Food Network’s “Food Network Star,” “Cupcake Wars,” “Cutthroat Kitchen”and morning news shows across the country; as well as a cameo cartoon appearance on the “Simpsons!”

Emily grew up harvesting food and raising animals on a farm in rural Ohio. Eager to dive into the culinary field, she worked in Cleveland’s top restaurants and started her own catering company while still in high school. Upon leaving Ohio, Emily graduated with a degree in Restaurant Management from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. There, she worked as a teaching assistant until moving to Paris to attend graduate school at Academie Internationale de Management. Emily then went on to earn two master’s degrees in Hospitality Management; one in Paris and one from UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management in Orlando.

Between appearances, Emily stays busy prepping her first cookbookdue out next year.

speaker Bio image

Founder and Managing Director of KPI USA

Topher’s 30 year speaking career has taken him throughout the US, UK, Australia, and Singapore and earned him a global reputation as an expert in mass-communications & influence. He has spoken for top execs with American Express, Microsoft & Google, just to name a few. He is a 4 time best-selling author, and his book, Collaboration Economy, co-authored with John Spencer Ellis, has become the go-to book for businesses preparing for the new collaboration age.

Topher Morrison is featured in the award-winning documentaries “The Compass” and “Riches,” Most recently, he was accepted onto the University of Tampa’s Board of Fellows, and is a founding member of the Center Circle with the Center for Women.

In contrast to most professional speakers, Topher’s shockingly honest, sometimes irreverent, and always down-to-earth approach is surprisingly infectious. His personality and straightforward manner are perfect for the business person who is tired of fleeting success in “self-help sinkholes.” He is not afraid to tell it like it is and shatters the myth of achieving overnight success. Instead, Topher speaks to the person who could care less about motivational ‘magic wands’ and is more focused on getting tangible, proven strategies to become a key person of influence in their company, network, or industry.

speaker Bio image

Author & Broadcaster

Simon Majumdar is a world renowned broadcaster and author who has dedicated the second half of his time on this planet to fulfill his ambition to "Go Everywhere. Eat Everything." It is a journey that has taken him to all fifty states and to dozens of countries around the world. He has written two books: Eat My Globe and Eating for Britain. His latest book, "Fed, White, and Blue" which catalogs his journey to American citizenship, will be published by Hudson Street Press (an imprint of Penguin Books) in 2015. Simon is also a well-recognized personality on the Food Network, regularly appearing on shows such as Iron Chef America, The Next Iron Chef, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Cutthroat Kitchen, Extreme Chef and Beat Bobby Flay. He has also recently appeared as an expert commentator on National Geographic's major new series “EAT:The Story of Food.” He lives in Los Angeles.

speaker Bio image

Chef & Culinary Educator

Emily Ellyn is the Home Economics teacher you’ve always wanted! She single handedly started the Retro Rad cooking movement and encourages everyone to dig through their mother’s recipe box, dust off their pressure cookers, and take the old and make it new. She takes the retro, remixes it, and makes it RAD.

With her quirky persona and trademark cat-eye glasses, you’ll find this retro rad diva cooking up fun and inspiring audiences at food events around the world; all while developing her culinary television career and finishing her Ph.D. in Food Service Education. Emily also donates her time helping non-profit organizations including Florida Hospital and Give Kids The World, writes for “edible” and “BAR” magazines, and lectures at the University of Central Florida. Through it all, she’s gained a loyal cult following. You’ve seen her on Food Network’s “Food Network Star,” “Cupcake Wars,” “Cutthroat Kitchen” and morning news shows across the country; as well as a cameo cartoon appearance on the “Simpsons!”

Emily grew up harvesting food and raising animals on a farm in rural Ohio. Eager to dive into the culinary field, she worked in Cleveland’s top restaurants and started her own catering company while still in high school. Upon leaving Ohio, Emily graduated with a degree in Restaurant Management from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. There, she worked as a teaching assistant until moving to Paris to attend graduate school at Academie Internationale de Management. Emily then went on to earn two master’s degrees in Hospitality Management; one in Paris and one from UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management in Orlando.

Between appearances, Emily stays busy prepping her first cookbook due out next year.

speaker Bio image

10 News Anchor

I was born in Midland, Michigan and grew up outside of Cleveland, Ohio and in a small town in rural Connecticut. My dream of being a TV news anchor began as a child, when my mom suggested I start watching 20/20 with Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters to learn "proper English". After that, I was hooked! My days as a reporter started while finishing up college at Emerson in Boston. Days were spent commuting from class to a TV station about 90 minutes away in Springfield, Massachusetts. The business then brought me to Kansas City, to anchor weekends, and then weekday mornings at the #1 ABC affiliate in the country.

Prior to Florida, I've worked as the early evening, then 5 and 11 p.m. anchor at the NBC affiliate in Charlotte, NC. When I'm not bargain hunting, nothing makes me happier than travel, adventure and good eating! All of the above is best with friends and while meeting new people. Chances are you'll also find me working out and enjoying the outdoors, along with my husband, a professional poker player, and two fur children, Frankie the dachshund and Georgie the Yorkie.While I've anchored and reported for many Emmy award winning shows, the honors I'm most proud of, are being named Best Morning Anchor in Kansas City only about a year after my arrival, and then voted by the Charlotte public as Best TV News Personality. People versus a panel of judges any day! There's something magical about Tampa Bay. The people here work hard, and the weather and water make for active lifestyles year round.

My goal as a television news anchor is to be more than a talking head inside a television screen. My purpose and passion champion young people, women, and the community to empower themselves and have the self-confidence by sharing my own struggles navigating life and career. I want others to share in the motivation to chase after their dreams.

speaker Bio image

10 News Anchor

Like many television journalists, I worked in several other media markets before finding my broadcast home here in Tampa Bay.

I grew up, earned a business degree and started a family in the “other” Bay Area of San Francisco. My late entry into broadcasting at age 29 qualified me as the oldest intern the CBS affiliate in San Francisco had ever had.

The first on-air job offer came from a station in Austin, Texas. In one of my first assignments, they sent me right back to San Francisco to cover the Loma Prieta earthquake that interrupted the World Series and claimed 63 lives in 1989.

In a few short years, I filed dispatches from Cuba, Iraq, and Vietnam, picking up a regional Emmy award for reporting. I also spent weekend evenings in the anchor chair.

When WFTS television in Tampa picked up the ABC network affiliation in 1994, I, along with over a hundred other professionals moved to Tampa to start a brand new news operation. I’ve been proud to anchor the evening newscasts ever since.

In my spare time, I play a little guitar, read books, and get dragged around the neighborhood by my 90 pound canine companion, Finnegan.

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