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Celebrity Chef Joins Judges' Panel at Top Local Chef

Monday, April 20, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: LocalShops1
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April 20, 2015 


LocalShops1 and Intensity Academy are excited to announce that celebrity Chef Ray Lampe, also known as Dr. BBQ, has joined the roster of judges for Top Local Chef 2015.


The event takes place 5-7 pm Sunday, April 26, 2015 at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom, 5500 Shore Blvd, with the support of nonprofit partner Gulfport Historical Society and event partners Out of the Weeds and Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce. A few general admission tickets are still available at VIP seating is sold out.


Ray Lampe, who was inducted into the BBQ Hall of Fame in 2014, is a frequent guest on the Food Network, Travel Channel. He is the author of seven cookbooks, including his most recent, “Pork Chop,” and a spokesman for the National Pork Board.



Rounding out the Judges Panel is an esteemed panel of local journalists and food experts:

  • Ramon Hernandez, Pipo's Cuban Cafe and two-time Top Local Chef winner

  • Janet Keeler, USFSP

  • Isabel Laesig, Family Foodie

  • Mark Rivera, 10 News

  • Cathy Salustri, freelance writer


The chefs competing for the Top Local Chef 2015 title come from throughout the Tampa Bay region. They are:

  • Maggie Loflin, Maggie on the Move, St. Petersburg

  • Jill Johnson, Mangia Gourmet, Gulfport

  • Ross Clingman, Marchand’s Renaissance/Marriott, St. Petersburg

  • Jonjie Sibayan, Pao Truck & Cafe, Tampa

  • John Riesebeck, Smokin’ J’s Real Texas BBQ, Gulfport

  • Rene Valenzuela, Taco Bus, Tampa and St. Petersburg

Chefs will incorporate Must Thai, Intensity Academy Gourmet Sauces' newest creation, into their dishes.


The event this year also includes the Top Local Chef marketplace, featuring a variety of products, including locally sourced food items from the following businesses:

  • Pinellas Chocolate Company

  • Gigi's Gourmet Caramel Sauce

  • Brooklyn South

  • Vicki's Vittles

  • Big Momma Donna's BBQ Sauce

  • The Pampered Chef

  • Green Living Momma

  • Genaro Coffee Co.

  • Citrus Blossom Scented Candles

  • Intensity Academy Gourmet Sauces


Top Local Chef is a production of LocalShops1 and Intensity Academy Gourmet Sauces, with the support of our nonprofit partner The Gulfport Historical Society and sponsors Out of the Weeds and the Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce. For information email



About LocalShops1

LocalShops1 is a coalition of hundreds of independently owned businesses and tens of thousands of energetic shoppers with the mission of advocating, promoting and offering support services to companies throughout Tampa Bay. Founded in August 2008, LocalShops1 is the region's most active voice for small businesses.