Napa Valley. Culinary mecca. Wine country.
It's the home of Thomas Keller's legendary restaurants.
And of course, the vineyards. Beautiful vineyards that make some of the best wine this country offers.
What a perfect location to host this year's finals for the 8th Annual S. Pellegrino "Almost Famous" Chef Competition.
Culinary students compete - Top Chef style - for a paid apprenticeship under a nationally recognized chef and $10,000 cash. Last year's winner, David Awad, moved to NYC to work with Chef Michael White of Alto and Marea. Alto just got its second Michelin Star in 2010, and Marea just got its first.
Regional competitions have been going on for the past month or so (the New England regional competition was just held in my hometown of Cambridge, MA a few weeks ago!) In March, all the regional winners will compete with each other, in Napa Valley, for the grand prize!
This year, Foodbuzz has partnered with S. Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water to send one Featured Publisher to attend this competition in Napa Valley.
As a person who loves the excitement of cooking competitions, is obsessed with good photography, and really appreciates food, this totally looks like a dream trip. I can imagine it now - live tweets of the competition as it happens! Endless amounts of photos documenting the action! And of course, blog posts covering various aspects of the event.
I really respect people in the culinary world. They work hard. Really hard. Working those crazy hours in a kitchen is not easy. And here's a chance for these up and coming chefs to really show what they've got. It should be pretty amazing.
So stay tuned! The competition will be streamed live from the Almost Famous Chef website on Sunday, March 7, 5-8:30 Pacific Time (that's 2-3:30 Sunday afternoon for us East Coast folks!)
Yes, it's true. I have bottles and bottles of S. Pellegrino in my fridge. I love this stuff!
Update! Here are links to the Full Coverage of the competition!
Day 1: Welcome Reception
Day 2: Mystery Basket Competition
Day 3: Signature Dish Competition
Guide to the Entire Napa Valley Trip
*Thanks to Bryan for the Napa Valley photos
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