Crozet Chef Competition Set for September 20

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Four Crozet chefs will compete to make the tastiest dish from a collection of predetermined ingredients at a fundraising event for Crozet-area charitable causes. A volunteer committee of local organizers, brought together by David Hilliard of The Lodge at Old Trail, is planning the Crozet Culinary Competition for Charity, to be held at The Lodge September 20 at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets will go for $20 per person and guests will get free wine (from Crozet-area wineries) and hors d’oeuvres as they watch the chefs compete at four cooking stations. Fifteen dollars from each ticket sold will be split between the Build Crozet Library fund and Claudius Crozet Park, which still needs $20,000 to build the replacement shelter, after the insurance payments on the pavilion knocked down by the June 30 windstorm. The event is conceived of as an annual competition benefitting different local causes every year. Organizers are hoping to sell 300 tickets and will cap the event at 400.

Contest judges will include a guest chosen at random from the crowd, a resident of The Lodge, White Hall District Supervisor Ann Mallek and a fourth as-yet unnamed judge. So far chefs from Fardowners, da Luca Café and Bangkok 99 have signed on for the challenge.

The winner will get possession of the trophy for one year, with their first place finish engraved on it, and the trophy will return to the competition next year for presentation to the next Crozet chef to get top bragging rights.

“The idea is to pull people together and also because Crozet has become a destination now for dinner. And we want to get the town around a local charity every year,” said Lodge owner David Hilliard. “It’s about awareness.”

Rules for the competition are not finally set, but the chefs will face two mystery ingredients that are presented to them when the competition starts.  The meals the chefs prepare will be auctioned off at the end of the contest, which is expected to last no more than two hours.

Tickets will be available at The Lodge, at the participating restaurants and from members of the organizing committee. For more information, call The Lodge at 823-9100.

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