4 Lake Tahoe chefs face off in Sample the Sierra Chef Challenge
The annual Sierra Chef Challenge has become a staple of Sample the Sierra.
This year the competition includes four chefs each cooking against one another with a mystery box of locally grown ingredients. One chef will be eliminated each round. All the chefs will have 30 minutes to create each course per round. The rounds will reflect courses with round one being appetizers, round two being an entrée course and round three being a dessert course. Each chef will prepare six plates per round, with each plate being used for judging. Each chef will be judged on creativity, presentation and taste.
The four chefs competing are:
Chef Stephen Gill
Stephen Gill welcomes every challenge that has been thrown at him, from creating an award-winning dish with Rocky Mountain Oysters to serving up a gourmet experience to thousands in the middle of the desert. He uses his knowledge of traditional dishes and a lifetime of culinary experiences to create one-of-a-kind fare even in the most extreme venues. “Gill,” as he is affectionately called, is a master at his craft and we are very proud to have him represent Cherry Bomb Catering.
In Gill’s own words, here is his culinary journey: “I was born and raised on the East Coast in New Jersey, across the river from Philadelphia, PA — the home of real pizza, cheese steaks and hoagies. Living not too far from the ocean, my Bostonian parents taught me the love of seafood, including clams, oysters, crabs, and how to make proper wicked ‘chowda.’ I love to cook: I love to eat.”
Executive Chef Patrick Harrity
Executive chef Patrick Harrity of Cold Water Brewery grew up east of San Francisco in Brentwood, California where he began his culinary career working in a small butcher shop and BBQ restaurant. Harrity attended Sonoma State University before making the move to South Lake Tahoe five years ago. Since then he has worked for some of the best chefs in the region including Mark Estee, Charlee Abowd and Justin Kaplan, learning to appreciate and use locally sourced seasonal ingredients.
Harrity continues to bring “California Comfort Food” to Cold Water Brewery drawing inspiration from a variety of cultures and cuisines to create a menu to satisfy all palates and the pickiest of eaters. When he is not running a kitchen, Harrity can be found on his mountain bike enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Lake Tahoe or making pastries with his favorite lady, Rosie of Sweet Rosies Baked Treats.
Chef Kristina Forsberg
Forsberg is 24 years old and decided at 15 she wanted to cook professionally. She grew up in Northern Carolina providing lots of southern influence in her food. She enjoys experimenting with Cantonese, Thai and Mexican food. Her brother and grandmother started her on cooking at home and professionally. Forsberg came to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in February from Las Vegas where she was involved with the Woman in Culinary Leadership Grant through the James Beard Foundation.
“I fell in love with food because of the inability to learn everything about it, there is always something new or old that I haven’t seen yet. Learning everyday from everyone around me.”
Chef Anthony Schiavone
A native of Upstate New York, chef Schiavone began his culinary at the age of 15 as a dishwasher in a little pizzeria in a small town in the Catskill Mountains. Inspired by his Italian heritage and the great cooks in his family, Schiavone pursued a career in the culinary arts that has taken him all over the country. In 2004, after several years cooking in various kitchens, Schiavone decided to get a formal culinary education at the State University of New York at Delhi.
Over the past 20 years, he has worked in restaurants of all sizes, from family style to fine dining, and in many types of cuisine. Since moving Tahoe in 2012, opportunities and the beauty of the region have motivated him to transition from a restaurant chef to a private/catering chef. As a private chef, Schiavone brings all of his knowledge and experiences together to create bespoke menus that cater to any special need diets or life styles that his clients or their guests may have, allowing all of the guests to share the same flavors and enjoy the same dining experience.
This article was provided by the Tahoe Chamber.