Chattanooga Now Battle of chefs Sunday at Chattanooga Market - Aug. 11

Chattanooga Now Battle of chefs Sunday at Chattanooga Market - Aug. 11

Each chef given $35 to shop for ingredients

August 8th, 2013 by Susan Pierce in Chattnow Outabout

Visitors to the Chattanooga Market can follow their noses to the FiveStar Food Fight, in which five chefs create a meal using ingredients found at the market.

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.


• What: Chattanooga Market FiveStar Food Fight.

• When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug 11

• Where: FirstTennessee Pavilion, 1829 Reggie White Blvd.

• Admission: Free

• Phone: 423-648-2496

• Website:

Combine the mystery-ingredient concept of Food Network’s “Chopped” with farm-fresh ingredients available at Chattanooga Market. Prepare that dish in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of a time limit and the scrutiny of judges, and you have the game plan for FiveStar Food Fight. This annual battle of local chefs, one of Chattanooga Market’s most popular events, takes place on Sunday, Aug. 11.

“Our food events are always big attendance events,” says Melissa Siragusa, market spokeswoman. “I expect there will easily be 10,000 to 15,000 people at the market, just not all at one time. But we always have plenty of room for people to stand and watch as the chefs cook.”

This Sunday’s competitors are chefs Charlie Loomis of Elemental, Blacky Smith of BlackSmith’s Bar and Grill, Brad Grafton of Enzo’s Market, Buck Ogelsby of Back Inn Cafe and Nathan Flynt, Famous Nater’s.

Creativity under the gun is among the criteria for winning the food fight. Chefs aren’t told the protein (beef, chicken, fish or pork) they will work with until just before time to shop at 11:45 a.m. Siragusa says each chef is given $35 to purchase ingredients from market vendors.

“Patrons are encouraged to watch and follow as the chefs pick and choose among the freshest fruits, vegetables, spices, cheeses and more to make their dish remarkable,” says Siragusa.

From 1 to 2 p.m. the chefs will put their ideas to the test, while emcee Kelly McCoy of WSKZ-FM describes the action. Their dishes will be served at 2 p.m. to judges Anne Braly, Times Free Press food columnist; Beth Kirby, a local food blogger; Rabbit Zielke, on-air personality from WUTC; Debbie Petticord, Chattanooga magazine; and Ruth Kerr, Gaining Ground. Siragusa says the judges will score on presentation and overall taste.

The winner gets a trophy and bragging rights for a year

<em>Contact staff writer Susan Pierce at or 423-757-6284.</em>