The Cast Iron Cook-off at Chattanooga Market is one of the most popular of the “foodie” events at Chattanooga Market. The event this Sunday is being held in coordination with the Serve & Protect initiative of the Tennessee Aquarium; teaching locals more about healthy seafood choices that keep our wildlife safe.
Sunday will be a day of festivities at Chattanooga Market: The chefs arrive in the morning armed with their preferred serving dishes and cooking utensils, but nothing more; the Market provides each chef with a pantry of basic items (salt, sugar, vinegar, etc), a mystery ingredient or two, and a modest budget so that they may shop the Market for the remaining ingredients they need to prepare their meal. The “surprise” ingredient this year will be a sustainable seafood product to be determined in conjunction with the Tennessee Aquarium’s Serve & Protect initiative.
The chefs are provided about an hour of shopping time, where they can select the ingredients they choose from farms and local food providers at Chattanooga Market; there are no restrictions, other than all foods must be sourced from within the Market. The ultimate goal is to showcase the abundance and variety of local foods in a way that is both entertaining and educational.
After shopping, the real fun begins. Guest emcee Chef Tami Cook, creator of “Mindful Eating” out of Atlanta, will visit with each of the chefs as they cook to interview them, talk about the dishes they are preparing, why they chose those specific ingredients and what farms they sourced their fresh goods. The chefs will, of course, be cooking in Lodge Cast Iron cookware.
Market patrons can have an intimate interaction with the chefs as they cook; they ask questions, observe the cooking methods, smell the aromas and basically become part of the event. The cooking portion of the event lasts about one hour.
During the final phase of the event, the chefs present their dishes to members of the tasting panel for judging. The panel is asked to judge based on appearance, taste, creativity and overall impression. Both the runner-up and the new Cast Iron Chef are announced and awarded various cookware prizes supplied by Lodge Cast Iron.
The chefs for the 2013 Cast Iron Cook Off are:
Public House – Michael Lindley
Elemental – Matt Marcus (2012 Cast Iron winner)
212 Market – Nick Goeller
Porter’s Steakhouse – John Palacio
Cafe on the Corner – Mac Casteel
Chattanooga Market would like to recognize longtime Cast Iron Cook Off sponsors, FiveStar Cooking Ranges and Lodge Cast Iron.
Recap of Schedule:
12 p.m. - Chefs introduced and shopping begins
1-2 p.m. - Live cooking demonstration
3 p.m. - 2012 Cast Iron Cook off winner announced