Chefs to compete at Athens Farmers Market ‘Chopped’-style event
Athens, Georgia—The three chefs lined up to compete at a “Chopped”-style event are showing no fear. To a person, each of them said there was no ingredient they would hate to see. They are ready for anything
And while Pete Amadhanirundr of Seabear, Amanda Brock of Kimpton Overland Hotel and Garrett MacFalda of home.made all took different paths on their culinary journeys, on this day, they will have one thing in common: going against one another and the clock.
In celebration of National Farmers Market Week, the public is invited to see how these chefs fare during the inaugural Athens Farmers Market cooking competition. The event is organized by the AFM committee and a local agriculture nonprofit, run by an Athens Farmer’s Market, Promoting Local Agriculture and Cultural Experiences (PLACE) in collaboration with local chefs, judges, and sponsors, according to Market Chef Landon Bubb, who is in his first year at AFM.’
The event will take place from 9 am to 11 am on Saturday, August 10 under the pavilion at Bishop Park, Bubb said.
“The event is a fun way to entertain market goers while showcasing creative ways to cook with the produce and other local goods for sale at the market,” Bubb said. “I hope this will be a great way to build excitement at the market leading into the start of the school year.”
Here’s how the competition will unfold: the three chefs will receive a mystery basket of ingredients to feature from the Athens Farmers Market, and will then have one hour to make a dish featuring all of the secret ingredients. The chefs will have access to a limited pantry of supplies, including cooking gadgets, pots and pans, grains, spices, oils, and other essentials.
After the hour is up, the chefs’ dishes will be tasted and assessed by four judges and the emcee. The winner will get a handcrafted knife by Heartwood Forge and a coveted prize pack, Bubb said.
Brock, a classically trained chef who also owns MSquared—a private dining chef and dining company— with her sister, Megan, said she wanted to participate as a way to “get her feet wet” before perhaps participating in other food competitions. “Everybody watches food shows and everybody thinks, ‘What would you do?’” Brock said. “I feel like I could make a lot of [ingredients] work.”
MacFalda, who earned his chops at the now-defunct Athens favorite Five Star Day Café and spent time in the Heirloom kitchen, said with it being “peak farm season,” he is confident with any ingredient that might show up in the basket. “I’m happy with anything that hits that table,” he said. “The thing that I don’t want to see is what I do want to see.”
Amadhanirundr grew up in a cooking family. Originally from Thailand, his father is a professional chef and his mother was a home cook before becoming a pastry chef. Both work at the Ritz-Carlton in Madison, Georgia. He and two friends also run The Side Hustle, food pop-up collective that donates 20 percent of its profits to charitable organizations. He said he is participating out of a love for the show and wants to test his mettle against the ingredients and other chefs. “Having a creative outlet is essential for me,” Amadhanirundr said. “I love the show and I love improvising.”
Bubb said he is excited to feature the great chefs, farmers, artisans, and community of the Athens food movement. If this competition is a success it could set the table for similar events. “Ideally, I can continue to grow it over the next few years,” he said. “I have a bold vision of what it could be in the future.”
For more information about the Athens Farmers Market cooking competition, please contact Landon Bubb at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Athens Farmers Market at Bishop Park hosts around 45 vendors a weekend, live music, children's activities and cooking demos. All produce is grown locally, sustainably and by those who are selling it to you!
8-10: Mark Plemmons
10-12: Paul Lombard
CHILDREN'S BOOTH: Reblossom is taking over the Children's Booth for National Farmers Market Week
COOKING DEMO BOOTH: This year, Chef Landon and special guest chefs will be providing a weekly menu planner featuring our peak season produce, cooking one of the menu items at market and providing shopping lists! You can read more about it on the AFM Blog (www.athensfarmersmarket.net/blog/).
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