On Monday, this year's Top Local Chef finalists were revealed. The six candidates, who work everywhere from food trucks to sit-down restaurants, will compete in the fifth annual Gulfport Casino Ballroom competition from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 26.
Jill Johnson (Mangia Gourmet), Ross Clingman (Marchand's Bar & Grill), Maggie Loflin (Maggie on the Move), Pat "Shubee" Bearry (Shubee Shack), John Riesebeck (Smokin' J's Real Texas BBQ) and Rene Valenzuela (Taco Bus) will face-off using a gallon of Must Thai mustard sauce. A new creation from the Tampa-based Intensity Academy Gourmet Sauces, the ingredient must be integrated into every chef's dish.
A six-judge panel of journalists and food buffs will crown the evening's winner, while food and nonfood vendors, including Pinellas Chocolate Company, Brooklyn South and Citrus Blossom soy candles, are featured at the on-site local market.
Tickets, which may be purchased online, cost $15 for general entry, and $60 for VIP.