Virginia College And The American Culinary Federation To Host BBQ Competition On Saturday

Friday, July 8, 2016

Virginia College announced that it will host a BBQ Competition on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. with an awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

The competition, hosted in partnership with the Chattanooga chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), is free and open to the public and will be held at the Virginia College campus at 721 Eastgate Loop.

The event will open to the public Saturday at 10 a.m. and will feature live music, live broadcasting for attendees throughout the day. There will also be activities for children and families setup by Virginia College staff.

The ACF is the national accrediting commission for culinary and pastry education programs at postsecondary institutions and secondary programs. Culinard, the culinary institute of Virginia College in Chattanooga, is the only ACF accredited school in the East Tennessee area, and Culinard program director Andi Cagle is the current ACF president for the Chattanooga chapter.

ACF will be providing food for sale at the event, and proceeds will benefit the Zion Project, an international organization that works to stop the human trafficking of women, specifically in the Chattanooga area. The Zion Project also touches the lives of women who have fallen victim to these horrible crimes by helping them rebuild their life on various levels. Representatives from the Zion Project will be at the event to share information about the organization.

“We are excited to host this event at our campus,” said Dominick DeLorenzo, campus president. “Not only is this a great opportunity for the community to get involved, but it provides wonderful real world experience for our Virginia College Culinard students.”

Once the competitors have presented their protein, a panel of four professional chefs and a celebrity judge with years of experience judging BBQ will evaluate them. The judges include:

  • Chef Dao Le – executive chef of the Double Tree Hotel
  • Chef Vince Fant – executive chef of Council Fire Golf Club
  • Chef Eric Pippert – executive chef of Alleia
  • Chef William Wright – Culinard instructor
  • Chip Chapmen – Channel 12 News meteorologist

Winners of the three categories will be announced at 5:30 p.m. and will receive a trophy and $400 prize. One competitor who has entered into all three categories will be selected as the grand champion and will receive a trophy and $500 prize.

“We have an excellent lineup of judges for this event and are excited for a high-quality competition,” said Chef Roger Burrows, executive chef at Ruth’s Chris and committee chair for the ACF. “This event is a great way to bring the culinary community in Chattanooga together while creating a fun family event for the public to enjoy.”

Culinard, the culinary institute of Virginia College is accredited by the ACF, and the Virginia College in Chattanooga’s program director Andi Cagle is the current president of the ACF.

More information about the event is available at

Competitors will provide their own protein, smoker and equipment, as well as wood or heat source. Turn in times for pork ribs, beef brisket and pulled pork will be Saturday, July 9 at noon4 p.m. and 5 p.m. respectively.

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