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Scott Lorenzo

Local chefs go head-to-head at Saturday’s Grape Escape festival

Published: Friday, Jun. 6, 2014 - 3:50 pm

Looking for another reason to attend Saturday’s Grape Escape food-and-wine tasting festival at Cesar Chavez Park?

How about a chance to watch Sacramento’s version of “Chopped.”

At the “Farm-to-Fork Chef’s Challenge” Hook & Ladder’s Brian Mizner, Lucca’s Ian MacBride, Dawson’s Steakhouse’s Jason Poole and Renwood Winery’s Carolyn Kumpe will compete to create the best appetizer and entree.

The event will feature four identical kitchens. Each chef will be equipped with a kitchen, fridge, table, stove-top range and pantry of ingredients. All ingredients in the pantry are fair game, and to spice up the competition, cooks will be required to use “mystery ingredients.”

The judges – Jaqueline Pecor ( Bake It with Booze blogger), Nicole Rogers (Farm-to-Fork project manager) and Garrett McCord ( Vanilla Garlic blogger and cookbook author) – will be ranking the dishes based on plate presentation and composition, creativity, flavor and taste, and their ability to use the ingredients.

The competition runs 4-7 p.m. Winners of the cook-off will be announced at 6:45 p.m.

Grape Escape is a daylong tour of more than 60 wineries and 40 restaurants in the region. Cesar Chavez Park is located at 910 I St., Sacramento. For ticket information, visit

Read more articles by Mozes Zarate

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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Note: The Appetizers blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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