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Omni Mandalay Hotel Kicks Off First Annual Gridiron Chef Classic


Irving, TX . – James LoCascio, Chris Vogeli, Matthew Levin and Fitzgerald Dodd – just a few of the renowned chefs who will stir up excitement at The Omni Mandalay Hotel’s first-annual Gridiron Chef Classic. The Omni Mandalay Hotel has partnered with talented chefs from Dallas and Philadelphia to host a cook-off on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 6 - 9 p.m. on the hotel’s grounds overlooking Lake Carolyn. As a build-up to the big Dallas and Philadelphia Monday night football game at Texas Stadium, the chefs will compete for bragging rights, while raising an anticipated $20,000 in funds for the James Beard Foundation supporting local scholarships for the culinary stars of tomorrow. Now the famous Dallas/Philadelphia rivalry -- and the extreme passion that coincides with it -- extends well beyond the field of battle with the chefs ready to prove that football and fine fare go hand-in-hand.

“This is great for the cities of Dallas and Philadelphia as we’ll find out who the true culinary champions will be,” said Diane Brown, director of educational and community programming for the James Beard Foundation. “While we are all excited about the modern day ‘clash of the culinary titans,’ we really appreciate the cities, chefs, restaurants and the Omni Mandalay for making this event happen on behalf of our foundation.”

The evening will kickoff with the grand entrance of each chef team, Philadelphia by land and Dallas by boat, waving football team flags. The chefs will huddle and then take their place at the two specially-designed Electrolux® outdoor kitchens to begin the 60-minute cook-off. Once the mystery ingredient is presented, chefs will then select other ingredients from a Central MarketSM station. Guests can watch as each team creates a signature dish utilizing the mystery ingredient, to be served as one of two main courses. Wait-staff dressed in referee uniforms will serve guests the dishes along with a signature wine pairing from Vina Robles Winery.

Guests will also enjoy several stations with high-end tailgate food, beer, wine and martini pairings during the cook-off. During the dessert course, Omni will collect ballots from each individual guest and tally up votes to determine the final score and winning team.

Tickets are available at the Omni Mandalay for $100 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For further information and reservation details, visit the James Beard Foundation web site or contact the Omni Mandalay Hotel at 972-869-5506.

Participating chefs include:

Team Dallas

Chef Scott Romano, Charlie Palmer at The Joule
Chef Fitzgerald Dodd, Screen Door
Chef Christof Syre, Café on the Green, Four Seasons Resort
Chef Chris Vogeli, III Forks
Chef Michael Jackson, Trevi’s, Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas

Team Philadelphia

Chef Brian Duffy, Kildare’s
Chef Sylvain Harribey, Chez Colette, Sofitel-Philadelphia
Chef Matthew Levin, Lacroix
Chef James LoCascio, Barclay Prime
Chef David Wiederholt, The Oceanaire, Seafood Room


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