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FAQ for Chefs: Top Local Chef 2016

Posted By LocalShops1, Sunday, January 03, 2016

Top Local Chef 2016 takes place 5-7 pm Sunday, April 24, at the beautiful Gulfport Casino Ballroom. For sponsorship information email 

For registration and more information go to



First things first. Everyone knows I'm the best chef around. How do I get in??

We are now accepting applications through this online link. You may apply to compete in Savory, Sweet or both categories. Finalists will be contacted in mid-March. For more information email



I'm not a chef, but would like to be involved. 
Great! We have excellent opportunities to showcase your business as an event or sponsor. Email us at for information.



I made it as a competing chef! What happens next?

If selected to participate, you will be invited to meet with the LocalShops1 staff for photos, videos and an informational session. Practice your Saucy Smack Talk! We want to know why you'll be the next Top Local Chef!  


On competition day, April 24, you must arrive at 2 pm and be set up and ready to go by 4 pm. Each chef must bring 150 samples for guests and plated dishes for the judges. You must  provide your own serving containers and utensils for the guests. Doors open to the public at 5 pm.



Who are the judges?
  • Isabel Laesig, founder, Family Foodie and Sunday Supper Movement
  • Kanika Tomalin, deputy mayor, City of St Petersburg
  • Noah Pransky, award-winning journalist, WTSP 10 News
  • Robin King, co-owner of Three Birds Tavern & owner of Out of the Weeds
  • Ross Clingman, sous chef at Ritz Carlton, Sarasota, and 2015 Top Local Chef winner  
The event is hosted by emcee Janet Keeler, visiting assistant professor and coordinator of food writing and photography graduate certificate at USF St Petersburg.



What is the cost to participate?
Chefs do not pay to compete in the event.

Paid opportunities are available for vendors and sponsors.



Who supplies the ingredients for the dish?
The chefs are responsible for all the ingredients. 



Who supplies the serving containers and utensils? Do you have warming dishes? Tables?
Chefs are responsible for all containers/utensils/warming dishes/etc.  We provide two 8-foot tables and two chairs. Feel free to bring your custom tablecloths or other branded materials for your table.



Can I bring my entourage?
Of course! You may purchase 10-packs of general admission tickets at a discounted rate, and give or sell to family, friends and favorite customers. Please email us at for details. Registration is also available directly on our online calendar



Are the dishes made in the chef's kitchen and then transported to the site?
Yes. There will be no cooking on site.



How does the judging work?
There will be two winners in each category (Savory and Sweet): the Popular Choice and Judges' Vote.
Judges will rank each dish on taste, presentation, creativity, and best use of the not-so-secret ingredient (Florida oranges). The popular vote will be decided by the guests. Each general admission ticket includes one voting token.


What size plate is used?
That's up to each chef, but the general guideline is that if you had the item on your menu, you would feel comfortable listing it for $5 or more.


Can I bring menus and business cards?
Of course! We want you to get a ton of exposure here. Feel free to bring promotional materials to hand out from your booth and/or to leave at the guests' tables. You may also bring stand-up banners, if you have any. There is no space, however, to hang a banner. If you need printed materials or design services, we offer special pricing for participating chefs through LocalShops1's marketing division. Please email us at for a custom order.


What else do I get?
Competing chefs will have the opportunity to meet some of the most prominent food bloggers, local media and the area's foodies. So be ready to impress! This is an excellent opportunity for not-yet-known chefs to get discovered and for the already-established ones to further reinforce their reputation as one of the best.


Every participating chef will be heavily featured in our event advertising and promotions, including through LocalShops1's website, social media pages, and e-newsletters, which reach tens of thousands of local residents. 


Winners will be featured in a future edition of Live Local! magazine and receive unlimited bragging rights. 



Anything else I should know?
Top Local Chef is a production of LocalShops1 with the collaboration of our sponsors Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce
Intensity Academy Gourmet Sauces, Red Hot Tiki Spicy Gourmet Market and Beach Bar | Restaurant. Our nonprofit partner is CASA.  Please email us at if you would like to be involved.






Tags:  top local chef 2016 

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