Exploring the Culinary Culture of Madison, Wisconsin and Surrounding Area

Dueling Chefs at the Madison Food and Wine Show 2008

One of the many highlights of the upcoming Madison Food and Wine Show (October 17 – 19 2008 at the Alliant Energy Center) includes the Dueling Chef competition.  This competition pits local Madison-area Chefs against each other as they vie for the title of the 2008 Culinary Conqueror, Iron Chef style.  Last years competition was riveting.  You can see a write-up here.  This year proves to be equally as exciting.  MadisonDining.Com and CuisineCapers.com will once again be serving as celebrity judges for the competition.

Without further ado, here’s more information, from Madison Magazine:

Beginning Friday, the chefs will compete in elimination heats, advancing until there are only two chefs left standing for Sunday’s final duel. During each round the two chefs, each with a hand-picked assistant, will be given one mystery ingredient, a matching set of supplemental ingredients and 30 minutes to prepare two dishes. The final prepared cuisine will be judged based on presentation, creativity and taste by three celebrity judges and one audience member.

Dueling Chefs Emcees

Patrick O’Halloran
Lombardino’s Restaurant
Lombardino’s has been a part of the Madison landscape for over fifty years and has the distinction of being one of the city’s oldest continuously operating eateries. Founded by Sicilian immigrant Matteo Lombardino as Lombardino’s Garden Restaurant on State Street, the eatery quickly became a local favorite. The restaurant took a dramatic turn from its Italian American roots in 2000 when Patrick and Marcia O’Halloran bought the business and implemented their philosophies of a seasonal menu, friendly service and the introduction of an exclusively Italian wine list. The menu is a reflection of several journeys to Italy combined with the wealth of local ingredients available in the Madison market.

Robert Von Rutenberg
Von Rutenberg Ventures
The start of von Rutenberg Ventures goes back to 1961 when Bill and Betty von Rutenberg purchased the Nibble Nook, an eight-stool hamburger spot on East Washington Avenue. Five years later, Bill and Betty sold the Nibble Nook and bought Jack Burke’s Supper Club (now the Mariner’s Inn). The von Rutenbergs saw the need for more casual dining on Lake Mendota, and soon the Nau-Ti-Gal was created. Next they developed a moderately priced seafood restaurant: Captain Bill’s. The most recent addition to von Rutenberg Ventures is Betty Lou Cruises. Bill and Betty’s sons – Bill, Jack and Robert – now carry on the von Rutenberg tradition of waterfront hospitality.

2008 Dueling Chefs

Chef Restaurant City
Charles Lazzareschi Dayton Street Grille Madison, WI
Barbara Wright The Dardanelles Madison, WI
Rob Grisham Brasserie V Madison, WI
Andrew Lickel Samba Brazilian Grill Madison, WI
Mai Zong Vue Taste of Asia Madison, WI
Jeff Bach Captain Bill’s Middleton, WI

We’ll see you there!



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