Cooking contest to test civilian, military talents

The San Diego Culinary Challenge at the county fair will feature local chefs — civilian and military — in competition July 2-4 in the kitchens of the Theme Exhibit.

Brandt Beef, a sponsor of the cooking competition, is donating its new Cowboy Bacon, Demi Glace de Boeuf Elite and Culotte Steaks for the American Culinary Federation (ACF)-sanctioned “Wild Card” event at 1:30 p.m. July 2.

“It’s exciting to be chosen as the beef purveyor for this fantastic, local event. We sense that these talented chefs will create some cutting-edge dishes using all-natural Brandt Beef products,” said Eric Brandt, managing partner.

The Brandt Beef “Wild Card” portion of the event, featuring eight chefs competing head-to-head for 70 minutes, will be judged by three certified master chefs on taste, presentation, technical difficulty and proficiency in the kitchen. Cash prizes of $100, $200 and $500 will be awarded to the top three competitors.

Before the Brandt Beef “Wild Card” competition on July 2, the San Diego Culinary Challenge will feature a student chef competition at 9 a.m.

On July 3, the San Diego Culinary Challenge will present a professional chef competition at 9 a.m. and a second “Wild Card” competition sponsored by Hamilton Meats and Vande Rose Farms at 1:30 p.m.

The military cooking competitions will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 4, with a medal presentation at 5:30 p.m.

In addition to showcasing local civilian and military culinary talent, the event also raises funds for Fisher House San Diego, an organization dedicated to providing a “home away from home” for families of military service people experiencing medical crises.