The 10th annual Ashland Culinary Festival November 3rd – 6th, 2016
Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites
Produced by the Ashland Visitor and Convention Bureau
Join us in celebrating Southern Oregon’s food, drink, talent and creativity. Enjoy this delicious four-day destination event as 12 local chefs compete for Top Chef honor in the Chef Showdown using local produce and a secret key ingredient and challenge. Have fun learning and tasting at new culinary workshops throughout the weekend. Sample and purchase with over 30 food artisans, farms, restaurants, award winning wineries and breweries. New this year will be the Ultimate Top Chef Dinner on Thursday evening, November 3rd. Friday enjoy wine tours, an evening kick-off event including food demos, a mixology competition, live music and samplings. On Saturday, witness the first Junior Chef Competition at the Festival where local junior chefs compete for the Junior Chef title and a chance to shadow our Festival Judges. On Sunday, learn all about brunch in Ashland at a new workshop sponsored by the Ashland B&B Network. It’s a weekend you won’t want to miss!
2016 Competing Restaurants and Chefs:
Chef Billy Buscher of Alchemy Restaurant & Bar at the Winchester Inn wins the 2016 Iron Chef of Oregon competition at the Bite of Oregon in Portland
August 12th & 13th, 2016 - Two of Ashland’s talented Chefs competed at the Bite of Oregon in Portland, Oregon to become the 2016 Iron Chef of Oregon – Chef James Williams of Omar’s Fresh Seafood and Steaks (competed to defend his 2015 Iron Chef of Oregon title, Ashland Culinary Festival Top Chef 2014) and Chef Billy Buscher of Alchemy Restaurant & Bar at the Winchester Inn (Ashland Culinary Festival 2015 Wild Card Chef and runner-up & 2012 Top Chef).
Chef Buscher competed and won two qualifying rounds to advance to the final round on Saturday evening against defending Iron Chef of Oregon, Chef James Williams. In the final round of two Ashland Chefs, both were provided a basket of the following secret ingredients of which they had to incorporate into the dish: Nicky USA Water Buffalo, Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue Cheese, rutabaga, tenderbite beans, Irish fingerling potatoes and finger limes. The Chefs had 30 minutes to produce six plates. See attached video of Chef Buscher and Chef Williams describing their final dishes to the Bite of Oregon Judges.
Ultimately, it was Chef Billy Buscher and his Sous Chef Bert LaTurner of Alchemy Restaurant & Bar who won the competition. “It’s such an honor and feels a little surreal to be the new Iron Chef of Oregon,” Chef Buscher said. “I have so much respect for James that I was just happy to be up on the same stage as him and representing Ashland’s culinary scene.”
Congratulations to Chef Buscher and Chef Williams for representing Ashland’s culinary scene so well.
You’re invited to watch 12 local Chefs compete in our 10th annual Ashland Culinary Festival this fall, November 3rd - 6th, at the Ashland Hills Hotel and Suites. We will be announcing the 12 competing Chef names very soon!
2016 Iron Chef of Oregon Billy Buscher and his Sous Chef Bert LaTurner of Alchemy Restaurant & Bar (dish on the right) with Chef James Williams and his Sous Chef Skyler Golden from Omar's Fresh Seafood & Steaks, runner-up for 2016 and Iron Chef 2015 (dish on the left).
Photo Credit: Kelsey Frantz of the Ashland Chamber