8th Annual Chef Showdown Raises More Than $150k to Battle Domestic Violence

September 21, 2012

On Thursday, September 13th, the Center for Community Solutions (CCS) transformed the NTC Promenade at Liberty Station into a luxurious setting to host the 8th Annual Chef Showdown.  Featuring a head-to-head cooking competition, a silent auction, a live auction, tastes from more than 25 local restaurants, and beverage offerings from brews to spirits, the event raised over $150,000 that will go toward providing prevention and intervention support for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse - a record fundraising for the Chef Showdown!

Sam "the Cooking Guy" Zien with Chef Anthony Sinsay
At the “Iron Chef” style competition, two teams comprised of San Diego's top chefs battled it out in a 12 course showdown before some of the top culinary judges in town, with cocktails to match each course.   The winning team featured chefs Anthony Sinsay (Burlap), Joe Magnanelli (Cucina Urbana), Bobby Mariner (Viejas), Amy DiBiase (The Shores), Chris O’Donnell (La Villa) and pastry chef Rachel King (Searsucker, Herringbone, Gingham, Gabardine, and Burlap).  Only one point separated the victorious from the defeated team - consisting of Dawn Parks (Wild Thyme Co.), Paul McCabe (Delicias), Hanis Cavin (Carnitas Snack Shack) Chef Matt Gordon (Urban SolaceSolace and The Moonlight Lounge) Augie Saucedo (Donovan’s), and Scotty Wagner (Chi Cuisine). The cocktail battle put the Lucien Conner and Ian Ward from Picks & Rocks (winning mixologists) against the Grant Grill's lead mixologist Jeff Josenhans and his sous-bartender, Jamie Klages.

Carnitas Snack Shack's taco
The cooking battle occured on an outdoor stage at Liberty Station's NTC Promenade.  In addition to the stage, there was an Alice in Wonderland style VIP section, and white linen tables for those who ponied up for such an accommodation.  We were fixtures at Trumer Pils' beer tap where our buddy Steve immediately recognized us from past events.  Of the food offerings, Burlap's braised short rib with celery puree was super tasty, as was the carnitas taco from Carnitas Snack Shack.

The judges!
The judges for the competition were Restaurateur Joe Bussalachi, Chef Isabel Cruz, head judge Chef Bernard Guillas from The Marine Room, Restaurateur Ingrid Croce, Ralph Rubio of Rubio's, Chef Jason Graham of Cal-A-Vie, and Restaurateur Michelle Lerach (not pictured)!  Sam Zien from the famous television show Sam the Cooking Guy hosted the competition.  Chef Showdown is co-chaired by Isabel Cruz, Executive Chef and Owner of Isabel’s Cantina,  and Dee Dee Castro, Community Relations Manager from Viejas.

For more information on Chef Showdown, be sure to visit CCSD's website.  And of course, we at SanDiegoVille will let you know more about next year's event as it draws near.