GrowFest Chefs Cook Off

Redlands GrowFest held annually at Fruit & Spice Park encourages you to grow, can and preserve your produce and vegetables!  The most popular event there is the Chefs Cookoff and I was honored to be invited again this year to judge with Christine Najac, publisher, author, sommelier and food and wine blogger of South Florida Food and Wine, Farmer Grabiel Marewski of Paradise Farm and Tim from Fruit and Spice Park.

The Chefs did an outstanding job as there were a lot of distractions!  Judges asking questions, snapping photos, not forgetting Edible South Florida’s publisher, Gretchen Schmidt, Farmer Margie from Bee Heaven Farm and Fruit & Spice Director, Tim Stribling were describing tropical fruits, spices and produce to the audience the whole time.

Here are some behind the scenes I captured of the Chefs Cook off. Each chef was given a “secret ingredient” and a box of mystery ingredients and allowed to pick anything from the ingredients table. Winner announced below!

Bring your family to the next one and make it a day’s visit cause it’s a drive!  There are food booths or bring a picnic, lots of areas to lay out.

Redlands Produce

Redlands Produce chefs could use any of these.


Chef Carolina’s starfruit in honey

GrowFest Chefs Cookoff

GrowFest Chefs Cookoff


Chefs furiously prepping! I caught Chef Venoy’s adorable little girl sneaking a peek!


Chefs cooking at their stoves in wind and rain!


Kudos to all the Chefs for coming up with these delish surprises in an hour! We ended choosing two winners because it was so tough and they were: top left: Chef Loren Pulitzer of Simply Sharon’s mash yucca cake and middle right, Chef Venoy representing Slow Food Miami with his black eyed peas hash and perfect duck egg. Bottom right: Chef Carolina of The Whisk Cafe & Bakery’s rice pudding which had chilies, a little kick there and Chef Johnson Teh of LAN, Yugo & Burrito San’s interesting use of taro leaves. We didn’t realize the leaves made your tongue tingle, oops.

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