Chattanooga Now Cast-Iron Cook-off coming up Sunday

Chattanooga Now Cast-Iron Cook-off coming up Sunday

September 21st, 2012 by Staff Report in Chattnow Dining


• When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

• Where: First Tennessee Pavilion, 1826 Reggie White Blvd.

• Admission: Free.

• Website:


• Noon. Chefs introduced and shopping begins.

• 1-2 p.m. Live cooking demonstration.

• 3 p.m. Winner announced.


• 12:30 p.m. Courter, Clouse & King.

• 2 p.m. Matthew Walley.

Five chefs from some of the city's best places to eat will arrive at Chattanooga Market on Sunday with their favorite serving dishes and cooking utensils, but nothing more. Their challenge: the annual Cast-Iron Cook-off.

The market will set up a temporary kitchen with FiveStar cooking ranges, a selection of Lodge cast-iron products and a pantry of basic items (salt, sugar, vinegar, etc.). Then the chefs will be given a mystery ingredient or two and a modest budget (typically $60) so that they may shop the market for remaining ingredients they need to prepare a meal.

Because the cook-off is being held in conjunction with the Tennessee Aquarium's Serve & Protect initiative, which promotes healthy seafood choices, this year's "surprise" ingredient will be a sustainable seafood product. What, exactly, won't be known until Sunday.

The chefs are provided about an hour of shopping time, where they can select ingredients from farms and local food providers. There are no restrictions, other than all foods must be sourced from within the market. The ultimate goal is to showcase the abundance and variety of local foods in a way that is both entertaining and educational, according to cook-off organizers.

After shopping, the real fun begins. Guest emcees Thom Benson and Anna George of the Tennessee Aquarium will visit with each of the chefs as they cook to talk about the dishes they are preparing, why they chose specific ingredients, what farms they shopped from and a mention or two about their restaurants.

Market patrons also can interact with the chefs as they cook -- asking questions, observing the cooking methods, smelling the aromas.

After about an hour of cooking time, the chefs will present their dishes to members of the tasting panel for judging. The panelists will judge each dish on appearance, taste, creativity and overall impression. Both a winner and runner-up will be awarded cookware prizes supplied by Lodge.

Who's cooking

Chefs are Charlie Loomis of Greenlife Grocery, Matt Marcus of Hennen's, Andrew Millsap of Broad Street Grille, Susan Moses of 212 Market and John Palacio of Porter's Steakhouse.