About Our Contest Judges

About Our Contest Judges

November 17th, 2010 by Anne Braly in Local Regional News

Executive chef,
Chattanooga Choo Choo
Michael Summerow is now in his 18th year at the landmark Chattanooga Choo Choo, where he feeds not just locals but thousands of tourists each year. He's in charge of three restaurants, as well as room service, so he manages his time with patience and a commitment to quality and service. Summerow trained under four chefs before becoming executive chef. Life at the Choo Choo is static, with activities and visitors changing from day to day. "Nothing's ever the same," Summerow said. "We never have the same brand of people come here. And they all have different tastes."

MOSES Co-owner/executive chef,
212 Market
Susan Moses was serving locally grown foods before it became the popular thing to do. She's always been a trendsetter, opening 212 Market in the Aquarium District before the aquarium was even open. Moses, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, specializes in fare that gives diners a fresh culinary experience, with such entrees as Eagles Rest bison short ribs, Pickett's Farm trout or Muscovy duck breast served with Falls Mill grits, wilted spinach and maple-grilled peaches. 212 Market is always a leader in receiving national recognition. It's won Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence for 12 years running and is also a certifi ed green restaurant.

Executive chef/owner,
Blue Orleans Seafood Restaurant
Hurricane Katrina blew Michael Adams into the Scenic City, giving him a chance to introduce locals to the authentic fl avors of the Crescent City, such as his signature Nawlins Pasta and spicy seafood gumbo. Adams comes from a family of cooks and learned the art of Cajun and Creole cuisines as a youngster. His menu refl ect the dishes served at his family table. The restaurant, located in the historic Main Street district of downtown Chattanooga, is as lively as the food, decorated in scenes depicting life in the Big Easy.

Executive chef,
Table 2 Eric Taslimi
spent his childhood in Tehran, Iran, before moving to Chattanooga when he was 10 years old. His fi rst degree was in horticulture, but food became his passion, so he entered the culinary arts program at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, S.C. Following graduation, he did his externship at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., then moved to Nashville. There, he helped open the popular Chapel Bistro, working as sous chef under the direction of chef Debra Paquette, now of Zola Restaurant. He began his Table 2 career in 2006 and became executive chef in September 2007.

Executive pastry chef,
Bluff View Art District
Kari Evans is always cooking up something sweet for the Bluff View Art District. A graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta, she leads a crew of four pastry chefs, creating confections for three Bluff View restaurants (Tony's Pasta Shop & Trattoria, Back Inn Café and Rembrandt's Coffee House), as well as breakfast pastries for guests at Bluff View Inn and foods for special events on-site and the district's off-site catering services. Evans began her career at Alon's Bakery in the Virginia Highlands area of Atlanta. She's been at Bluff View 12 years and is known for her delicate touch on elaborate wedding cakes, as well as her painstaking attention to detail when executing Old World recipes for handmade pastry.