The Sierra Chef Challenge features local talents duking it out for the coveted Sierra Chef title.
The annual Sierra Chef Challenge includes four chefs each cooking against one another with a mystery box of locally grown ingredients. The competition will start out with four chefs. One chef will be eliminated each round. All the chefs will have 30-minutes to create each course per round. The competition will have four chefs competing on an appetizer course in the first round, three chefs competing on an entrée course for the second round and two chefs competing on a dessert course in the final round for the coveted Sierra Chef title. Each chef will prepare six plates per round. All six of the plates will be used for judging. Each chef will be judged on creativity, presentation, and taste
The competition will begin at 1 p.m. on the Sierra Stage and will conclude around 3:15 p.m. with the announcement of the winner!
Executive Chef Patrick Harrity, Cold Water Brewery & Grill
Executive Chef Patrick Harrity of Cold Water Brewery & Grill is the reigning Sierra Chef Challenge champion. Patrick grew up east of San Francisco in Brentwood, California where he began his culinary career working in a small butcher shop and BBQ restaurant. Harrity attended Sonoma State University before making the move to South Lake Tahoe five years ago. Since then he has worked for some of the best chefs in the region including Mark Estee, Charlee Abowd, and Justin Kaplan, learning to appreciate and utilize locally sourced seasonal ingredients.
Harrity continues to bring “California Comfort Food” to Cold Water Brewery drawing inspiration from a variety of cultures and cuisines to create a menu to satisfy all palates and the pickiest of eaters. When he is not running a kitchen, Harrity can be found on his mountain bike enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Lake Tahoe or making pastries with his favorite lady Rosie of Sweet Rosies Baked Treats.
Asst. Executive Chef Lonny Huot, Edgewood Tahoe
A native of New Hampshire, Lonny has 30 years of culinary experience in luxury hotels & resorts across the United States. Notable properties include the Willard Intercontinental in Washington DC and the five-star Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. He was the opening chef at the Club at Hammock Beach in Palm Coast, Florida, and the resort executive chef at the Villas of Grand Cypress Orlando, Florida. When not in the kitchen you may find Lonny on the golf course or at the beach with his wife and children.
Chef Glenn Simpson, Tallac Catering Company
New Zealand born Glenn Simpson brings a passion for craftsmanship to his approach to food. Often seeking flavor profiles from scratch sources such as fermentations, picklings and cured items, his simplistic approach to cuisine allows the natural properties of ingredients to shine. Lately focusing on plant-based foods, he pulls from modern vegan techniques and a range of ethnic cuisine to create dishes that please the mind and palate. Currently, he teaches classes for the culinary programs offered through the Lake Tahoe Community College and is the co-owner of Tallac Catering Co.
Executive Chef Jimi Nakamatsu, The Lake House
Executive Chef Jimi Nakamatsu represents one of Lake Tahoe’s newest fine dining establishments—The Lake House Restaurant. Born and raised in San Jose, Calif., Chef Nakamatsu’s cuisine is a reflection of his formal culinary training as well as growing up in a diverse multicultural environment. These factors have allowed Jimi to develop a love for all ingredients, all styles of cuisine and a dedication to constant learning and investigating new techniques and flavors.
In his current position at The Lake House Restaurant, Chef Jimi continues to build on the restaurant’s ingredient-driven menu, while incorporating his personal and culinary experiences to serve his guests.
“We create experiences for people, it’s our guests that matter and we can only create great memories for people if we are at our best,” he said. “And we can only be at our best when our attitudes are united and our execution of food and service are at the priority of our minds.”