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Chefs Kari Hurtis (left) of Ready Randy’s and Gary Zielsdorf Jr. of Wild Badger Sports Saloon will face off in the Chef Showdown at this year’s St. Croix Art & Culinary Show on Sunday, April 27. (Photo by Micheal Foley)

Chefs to square off Sunday at Art & Culinary Show

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Like a scene straight out of a reality TV cooking show, two New Richmond chefs will face off in a cooking competition Sunday in front of a live audience.

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Chefs Kari Hurtis of Ready Randy’s and Gary Zielsdorf Jr. of Wild Badger Sports Saloon are set to participate in the Chef Showdown during this year’s St. Croix Art & Culinary Show.

“They each have a predetermined menu that they are going to prepare,” said event organizer Tia Bismonte. “Seven judges will be selected randomly from the audience to judge the two dishes.”

It may sound pretty straightforward, but there’s a twist. Just hours before cooking begins, the chefs will meet at Family Fresh Market to choose their ingredients, including one surprise ingredient Bismonte will select at the store. Both chefs must use Bismonte’s selected ingredient in their dish.

The chefs will begin cooking at about 5:30 p.m. at makeshift kitchens set up on stage at the event in front of a live audience of food and art lovers, and they must have their dishes plated for judging by 6:15 p.m.

Last year, Brady’s Brewhouse sous-chef John Tapper edged Mary Caudy of Douville Bakery in the Chef Showdown debut.

“It’s sort of like Iron Chef meets Chopped meets Top Chef,” Bismonte said. “There’s a lot of pressure. There’s a short amount of time. There’s a specific dish they’re cooking. There’s a secret ingredient that doesn’t get revealed to them until the day of. And then, there’s seven randomly selected judges, which makes it kind of fun.”

In addition to the Chef Showdown, the 2014 St. Croix Art & Culinary Show features area artists displaying, demonstrating and performing their skills. Local chefs and restaurants also serve up samples of some of their favorite dishes. Spirits from 45th Parallel and beer from Brady’s Brewhouse will also be available along with some sort of live entertainment.

“We’re plating and pairing wine this year,” Bismonte said. “We sat and spent time pairing each dish with its perfect beverage, so it’s going to be a little different. The tasting notes are going to be a little more on point.”

Funds raised support the STRIVE scholarship program in the New Richmond area and the Rotary Club’s education programs. STRIVE provides an incentive to high school students to boost their GPA in preparation for a secondary education.

This year’s event is scheduled for 5-8 p.m. on Sunday, April 27, at R&D Catering Banquet Hall. Tickets are $40 in advance and are available at Ready Randy’s, the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce and online at newrichmondrotary.com. Tickets will be available at the door for $45.

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St. Croix Art & Culinary Show

Watch as artists’ masterpieces unfold before your eyes while experiencing the smells and tastes of beer, wine and culinary delights.

Who: Sponsored by the Rotary Club of New Richmond

Where: R&D Catering Banquet Hall (1490 131st St.)

When: 5-8 p.m. on Sunday, April 27

Tickets: Available in advance for $40 at Ready Randy’s, the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce and online at newrichmondrotary.com; $45 at the door

Benefit: Funds raised support the STRIVE scholarship program and the local Rotary club’s education programs.

More information: facebook.com/events/667132646671972

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Micheal Foley
Micheal Foley joined RiverTown Multimedia in July 2013 and serves as editor at the New Richmond News. In the past he has worked at several news outlets including Patch.com in Hudson, Wis., the Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif., the Leader-Telegram in Eau Claire, Wis., and the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn. He began his career as a Marine Corps journalist. He served as a reporter and photographer in Okinawa, Japan, and editor of the base newspaper at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Calif. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls.
(715) 243-7767 x241
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