It’s time again for one of the best culinary events of the year, Diamond Chef Arkansas, which will take place on Tuesday, June 4 at the Statehouse Convention Center. The event benefits the Pulaski Technical College Foundation. Tickets are $200 and can be purchased online.
The preliminaries to this event were held in February at the then-Peabody Hotel, with Chef Dan Capello of the Chenal Country Club winning the elimination-style competition. The final event next week will pit Capello against last year’s winner, Chef Jason Knapp of Aramark at the University of Central Arkansas in a live-action dinner throwdown.
While guests dine on an unrelated three-course dinner with wine, the chefs will be presented with a mystery ingredient that must be used in a three-course meal of their choosing. The mayhem that results is quite the stage show, especially for those of us who know just enough to talk a little bit of smack about what we would do. (Last year, I totally called the sabayon sauces and a couple other things they made from the ostrich egg mystery ingredient. Not that I could do theirs justice.)
If you’re also a sucker for silent auctions like me, there will be plenty. Items range from glassware and kitchen gadgets to fine dining and wine pairing experiences. The fairly-infamous live auction also brings in the heavies, bidding on elaborate in-home dinners and even food-related travel. Someday, when I’m rich and famous, I’ll bid on the trip to The French Laundry that sometimes comes up.
Should you go? Um, yes. If $200 is too rich for your blood (and you’re not a culinary student who can schlep in for free), ask your employer to sponsor a table, or get all friendly-like with one who already has.
And now, my confession…I’ve live-blogged this event for years, and this time I will be on family vacation. It just turned out that way. I expect the good PR folks at Pulaski Tech will tweet and such, so give them a follow if you can’t get yourself to this outstanding event.