King of the Mountain Chef’s Challenge 2012 and Fennel Pollen Sautéed Trout Fillet on Parsnip and Apple Puree

It seems that most of us have become obsessed with all things related to food, cooking and chefs over the last several years.  With the ever increasing popularity and number of food television shows, food and wine festivals and food-centric events, chefs have been elevated to almost rockstar status.  With this star status comes the ability to not only bring people together around great food and inspire us, but to do it in conjunction with a great cause.

Now, more than ever, chefs and people in the food industry are leveraging their ability to reach broad audiences to create and support charitable foundations and to raise money to support the needs of others in their own and surrounding communities.

With Chefs Denny Trantham, John Fleer and Mat Kowal

We recently attended an event that was a perfect example of this concept.  The 2012 King of the Mountain Chef’s Challenge, held at The Barn Pavilion at The Farm Old Edwards Inn and Spa, in Highlands, North Carolina brought together some of the region’s best chefs to raise money to support the Fragile Kids Foundation.

The Fragile Kids Foundation, based in Atlanta, Georgia supports medically fragile children and their families.  Matt Eberz, of Sam Call Productions, and the event creator, said that he chose this particular organization based on a long-term relationship with the foundation.  His own children are in the healthcare field and he understands the need that exists to help these children.

Matt Eberz, Sam Call Productions

The King of the Mountain Chef’s Challenge, in its third year, was a great success selling out with approximately 190 guests.  Hosted at The Barn Pavilion, it was the perfect venue for this day of Food Network-like entertainment with a chef’s challenge rivaling that of Iron Chef.  Here is a brief video of the event.

It was a very entertaining and eventful afternoon as four chefs battled in their version of Kitchen Stadium for the title of “King of the Mountain”.  Guests were treated to special food presentations prepared by guest chefs throughout the day.  The silent auction items included artwork, private dinners, fine wines and trips to benefit Fragile Kids Foundation.  The culmination of the day was a fabulous four-course meal prepared by the participating chefs and their culinary teams.

Chef Joahnnes Klapdohr and the competitors for the 2012 King of the Mountain Chef’s Challenge

With Rachael Miller of Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta

Some of the dinner displays including Truffled Mac and Cheese

It was great as always to see some of our good friends and chefs that were participating in the event.  We enjoy all of their restaurants, so we had no favorites going in to the day.  Our motto was to “Let the battle begin!

The competition heated up quickly

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