BOYNE FALLS — It's time again for the annual Chef's Challenge event at Boyne Mountain Resort, a gourmet tasting extravaganza showcasing the best of Michigan with the finest chefs, agricultural food products and beverages set to be judged by both event-goers and celebrity judges.
On Friday and Saturday, April 12-13, professional chefs from across the state and culinary art programs will have the opportunity to exhibit their talents and raise money and awareness for Challenge Mountain, a nonprofit organization that provides adaptive outdoor recreational opportunities for free to people with developmental disabilities and their families. For more than 25 years, Challenge Mountain has been dedicated to providing a venue for sports, outdoor recreation and leisure skills to those with physical disabilities or mental challenges. The goal of all programs is to help create happy, healthy and longer lives.
The event also will help further the latest addition of three bike trails and bicycles with adaptive equipment for the upcoming summer program.
Celebrity chef Michelle Bommarito, from the Food Network, will host all the events with assistance from Scott MacKenzie, Chef's Challenge committee member.
"The dress is casual and the food and beverages are elegant," MacKenzie said. "The event is a great cause that promotes a number of Michigan assets — Michigan culinary arts, Michigan agriculture and food products including the Michigan beverage industry. It raises funds for a wonderful cause and it is a win-win situation for everyone."
The first round of competition will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 12, when high school culinary students will present appetizers. There also will be dessert and a cash bar at the public event. Admission is $10 and high school students who perform well may be chosen to assist at Saturday's professional competition.
The main event — Taste of Michigan — runs 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13. More than two dozen competitors are expected to participate. Admission is $30 and includes eight tasting tickets. Additional tickets are sold four for $15 or eight for $25.
Teams compete by preparing an entree paired with a fine Michigan wine and a Michigan micro-brew. The panel of chef judges selects entries based on a combination score and balances the entries to provide a varied experience. Teams chosen must focus on the use of indigenous Michigan products, and they will be judged by both the attendees who award the People's Choice Award and a select panel of judges which determine the "Chop Challenge" competitors.
The top four teams will compete in the Chop Challenge, which starts at 1:30 p.m. The competition includes teams battling in three rounds to the finish.
Who: Gourmet chefs
What: Cooking competition
Where: Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne Falls
When: Friday and Saturday, April 12-13
Why: Fundraiser for nonprofit Challenge Mountain
Cost: $10 on Friday, $30 on Saturday
More info: www.chefs-challenge.com