Sparks Hosts Regional Culinary Festival

By: Samantha Boatman Email
By: Samantha Boatman Email

Every year students, teachers and professional chefs from several states get together for a Regional Culinary Conference.

The year's event is being held in John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks. It hasn't been held in the Reno-Sparks area for over a decade.

This year's Regional Culinary Conference has about 400 attendees.

The conference has everything from classes, cooking demos, trade shows and competitions.

There are eight student teams competing in two different categories: the hot and cold platter.

The cold platter was on display Monday. The teams will be making the hot platters Tuesday at Truckee Meadows Community College.

The winner of last year's national competition, "Chef Of The Year", Todd Kelly showed others at the conference how to make his award- winning dish and some of his favorites.

The American Culinary Federation says the different classes can be very beneficial to chefs across the region.

"The education seminars sometimes bring us new information, different techiniqus, and new opportunities that exist. Tt's good to see old friends find out what they're up too, and the networking is critical it really helps the profession," says Michael Norton, Nugget's Executive Chef.

Several awards will be handed out at the end of the conference on Wednesday night. One award includes "Regional Chef of the Year", the winner will go onto compete in the national competition.

On Tuesday, conference attendees have the opportunity today to meet "Rock" Harper. Harper won the third season of Hells Kitchen.

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