FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
29, ST. PETERSBURG, FL -- The competition was fierce during the third
annual Top Local Chef competition, produced by LocalShops1 and Intensity
Academy. But only one chef could go home with the Top Local Chef Giant
Fork, and that chef was Ramon Hernandez, owner of Pipo's Restaurant on Bay Pines Boulevard in St. Petersburg.
"There were so many great competitors here," said Hernandez,
who won the Judges' Vote. "I'm so proud and honored to have been a part
of this. ... I thank and appreciate everyone."
winning dish -- Pork and Black Bean Croquet with a Corn Reamalaude --
will be featured in a new concept Hernandez is working on, he said.
Pipo's Restaurant was up against five other top local chefs:
Rain Chef Bobby Inthavong's
Asian Salad with Garlic Dressing was winner of the Popular Vote and
received a deluxe LocalShops1 business membership, valued at $200.
"With a packed house, the pressure was
very intense, but the chefs really delivered," said Mo Venouziou, vice
president of LocalShops1, one of the event coordinators. "The
and the community pulled together to put the spotlight on independent
businesses and on our charity partner."
Top Local Chef 2013 took place in front a sold-out audience of more than 150 at the popular Ale & the Witch courtyard in downtown St. Petersburg. The event, a benefit for the non-profit Community Food Pantry, which helps feed the homeless, aims to spotlight the amazing independent restaurants in the Tampa Bay region.
was so exciting to see the variety of dishes from these talented chefs
all using the common sauce: Garlic Goodness. From Black Bean Pork
Croquettes to Chocolate Cake! The culinary creativity was outstanding!"
said Michele Northrup, founder of Intensity Academy, one of the event organizers. "I
hope everyone goes to these local restaurants to experience these
jewels in our community."
The judges panel was comprised of four of the area's top journalists:
Janet Keeler, Tampa Bay Times
Isabel Laessig, Family Foodie
Noah Pransky, 10 News
Arielle Stevenson, Creative Loafing
The event was sponsored by Prints Charming Booth, Savory Spice Shop St. Petersburg, Sunset Appliance Service, The Shoppes at 400 Beach and UNation.
More photos available on UNation.com.
LocalShops1 is a grassroots coalition of hundreds of businesses,
artists and community organizations, and thousands of energized shoppers
dedicated to supporting locally-owned businesses. As the region’s most
active voice for small business, it has made a name for itself through
exciting events; advocacy of the buy-local movement; and uniting
businesses, merchant associations, and community organizations from all
across Tampa Bay.
Intensity Academy creates flavors to make the world a saucier place to
live… one bottle at a time. It’s sauces are all natural, award winning
gourmet & hot sauces. In less than four years of being in business
they have won 50 national awards, including their Chai Chipotle Chup’
being named the #1 ketchup in the nation thru the 2010 Scovie Awards.