Chef Jason Knapp of Aramark/University of Central Arkansas walked away with the title of Diamond Chef at Tuesday night’s event, after demonstrating three courses of culinary prowess using the mystery (and slightly bizarre) protein of ostrich eggs.
Knapp defeated Chef Bonner Cameron of Ya Ya’s Euro Bistro with a total of 73.15 of a possible 100 points against Bonner’s 57.20.
The annual event was sold out, with over 700 in attendance, including a flurry of white-coated students and instructors from Pulaski Tech’s burgeoning Arkansas Culinary School. The event, which benefits the Pulaski Technical College Foundation, included silent and live auctions of mostly culinary related products, trips and private dinners.
The tables were decorated with faux cakes created by students of the culinary school — my own cake included, which was a final in my recently-completed Cakes and Cake Decorating class. We enjoyed a three-course steak meal, expertly prepared by the Peabody / Statehouse staff. The beef was announced as a new cut, called a “Vegas Strip.”
If you missed our live tweets from the event, it would be worth your while to peruse the #DiamondChef hashtag for photos, commentary and more.
Unfortunately, it is harder to get contest plate photos at this event because of the stage setup without just jumping up there like you own the place. Not to say I didn’t do that, say, about three or four times. But elbowing the judges seemed out of line, so I’ll share photos from the Pulaski Tech official photographer in the near future.
Here’s what I did manage to get without getting thrown out, so enjoy, and check back for updates.