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Ashland Culinary Festival
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SAVE THE DATE: 12th annual
Ashland Culinary Festival
,
November 8th – 11th, 2018

Festival Headquarters:
Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites

 
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A weekend of excitement was had at the four-day 11th annual Ashland Culinary Festival including a sold-out Top Chef Dinner, NEW Celebrity Quick-Fire Cooking Challenge, the 2nd annual Mixology Competition, 2nd annual Junior Chef Competition, and of course, the popular Top Chef Competition
November 2nd – 5th, 2017


The Festival began with a SOLD-OUT Ultimate Top Chef Dinner on Thursday evening which showcased six past Top Chefs winners from previous years, each preparing a signature course paired with a local winery. 
Friday evening was exciting as the Festival welcomed the Judges to the Stage for a NEW Celebrity Quick-Fire Cooking Challenge.  They were challenged to make the best Grilled Cheese Sandwich they could make in 15 minutes on stage with their partners.  The winning Grilled Cheese was awarded to Chef John Ash & Dennis Slattery, our 2017 Celebrity Quick-Fire Cooking Challenge winners. 

Friday evening also included our 2nd annual Mixology Competition, where eight local bartenders competed for the 2017 Top Mixologist honor.  First Place went to Freddie Herrera of Hearsay Restaurant, Lounge and Garden, second place was Ross Jones of Larks Restaurant and 3rd place was awarded to Jess Jeffery of Alchemy Restaurant & Bar. The key secret ingredient was local huckleberries. 

On Saturday, the Festival was honored to hold the 2nd annual Junior Chef Competition, the first of its kind in Southern Oregon. A two-person Chef Team competed from Ashland High School (two teams), North Medford High School and Grants Pass High School, four teams total. Dezmond Barros and Coy Wimberly, Seniors from North Medford High School, won the 2017 Junior Chef title.  The weekend continued with the Top Chef

Competition and over 35 vendors to sample each day.


The Top Chef Competition results were as follows:
  • Round one winner: Josh Dorcak of MÄS received the highest score for round one with the secret ingredients of Crab and Shrimp, requiring Chefs to prepare both a soup and sandwich. Chef Dorcak brought along his 8-year-old Son, Caswell, to compete with him for the weekend as his Sous Chef.  This was an audience favorite to watch!  
  • Round two winner: Skye Elder of Brickroom received the highest score for round two with the secret ingredient of Turkey Breast, requiring Chefs to prepare an entrée.
  • Round three winner: Stefano Cipollone of Standing Stone Brewing Co. received the highest score for round three with the secret ingredient of Tawanda Farms Lamb and Chanterelles, requiring Chefs to prepare an entrée.
These three Chefs advanced to the final round along with Brent Herud of Larks Restaurant who earned the fourth slot in the final as the Judge’s Choice WILD CARD Chef.

In the final round, Skye Elder of Brickroom earned the most points with his execution of Wild Coho Salmon Two Ways, on one plate – the secret ingredient and challenge for the final round. Chef Elder’s plate included Coriander Seared Coho with Coconut Jasmine Rice and a Wasabi Caramel Lomi Lomi Salmon and Radish Napoleon. With this win, Chef Elder earned his first Top Chef award from the Ashland Culinary Festival. 

2nd place - Brent Herud of Larks Restaurant
3rd place - Josh Dorcak of MÄS
4th place - Stefano Cipollone of Standing Stone Brewing Co.


The Ashland Emergency Food Bank received many donations by event goers who received a discount on their ticket by donating two non-perishable food items. Join us next year for the 12th annual Ashland Culinary Festival, November 8th – 11th, 2018 at the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites. To see photos and videos from the event, visit our Ashland Culinary Festival pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 
 

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2016 Ashland Culinary Festival. Video produced by Darren Campbell in collaboration with Ashland Visitor & Convention Bureau. Edited by Ross Williams.

2017TopChef

Top Chef 2017

Skye Elder of Brickroom Restaurant with his Sous Chef, Jeremy GianinoPhoto by Graham Lewis, Courtesy of the Ashland Culinary Festival

2017TopMixologist

Top Mixologist 2017

Freddie Herrera of Hearsay Restaurant, Lounge and Garden. Photo by Graham Lewis, Courtesy of the Ashland Culinary Festival

2017JuniorChefWinners

2017 Junior Chef Winners

Coy Wimberly (left) and Dezmond Barros (right), Seniors from North Medford High SchoolPhoto by Graham Lewis, Courtesy of the Ashland Culinary Festival

 

2017CelebrityQuickfireChampions

2017 Celebrity Quick-Fire Cooking Challenge Winners

Chef John Ash and Dennis Slattery. Photo by Graham Lewis, Courtesy of the Ashland Culinary Festival

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