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First Gridiron Chef Cook-Off Set for September 13


YIPPEE!!! Can you believe it’s already football season? Hell, I’m still waiting for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Hmm. Must get out more. Anywhoo, if you love the Philadelphia Eagles or love to hate them, then you must make plans to attend the first Gridiron Chef Classic taking place on September 13 from 6:00-9:00pm at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Las Colinas. The event, two nights before the Cowboys/Eagles game, will feature chefs from Dallas battling their rivals in Philly. The $100 per ticket fundraiser benefits the James Beard Foundation to support local scholarships to future culinary stars. Details below.

Irving, TX (Aug. 25, 2008) – James LoCascio, Chris Vogeli, Matthew Levin and Fitzgerald Dodd – just a few of the renowned chefs who will stir up excitement at The Omni Mandalay Hotel’s first-annual Gridiron Chef Classic. The Omni Mandalay Hotel has partnered with talented chefs from Dallas and Philadelphia to host a cook-off on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 6 – 9 p.m. on the hotel’s grounds overlooking Lake Carolyn. As a build-up to the big Dallas and Philadelphia Monday night football game at Texas Stadium, the chefs will compete for bragging rights, while raising an anticipated $20,000 in funds for the James Beard Foundation supporting local scholarships for the culinary stars of tomorrow. Now the famous Dallas/Philadelphia rivalry — and the extreme passion that coincides with it — extends well beyond the field of battle with the chefs ready to prove that football and fine fare go hand-in-hand.

“This is great for the cities of Dallas and Philadelphia as we’ll find out who the true culinary champions will be,” said Diane Brown, director of educational and community programming for the James Beard Foundation. “While we are all excited about the modern day ‘clash of the culinary titans,’ we really appreciate the cities, chefs, restaurants and the Omni Mandalay for making this event happen on behalf of our foundation.”

The evening will kickoff with the grand entrance of each chef team, Philadelphia by land and Dallas by boat, waving football team flags. The chefs will huddle and then take their place at the two specially-designed Electrolux® outdoor kitchens to begin the 60-minute cook-off. Once the mystery ingredient is presented, chefs will then select other ingredients from a Central MarketSM station. Guests can watch as each team creates a signature dish utilizing the mystery ingredient, to be served as one of two main courses. Wait-staff dressed in referee uniforms will serve guests the dishes along with a signature wine pairing from Vina Robles Winery.

Guests will also enjoy several stations with high-end tailgate food, beer, wine and martini pairings during the cook-off. During the dessert course, Omni will collect ballots from each individual guest and tally up votes to determine the final score and winning team.

Tickets are available at the Omni Mandalay for $100 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For further information and reservation details, visit the James Beard Foundation web site or contact the Omni Mandalay Hotel at 972-869-5506.