Chef Jason Knapp bested Chef Bonner Cameron Tuesday night for the title of 2012 Diamond Chef Arkansas.
More than 650 people attended the fast-faced culinary competition, sponsored by the Pulaski Technical College Foundation to raise money for the college's Arkansas Culinary School. The event raised an estimated $189,000.
The evening included a reception, dinner, and a live auction, but the event really heated up at center stage where Knapp, executive chef for Aramark at the University of Central Arkansas, and Cameron, executive chef at Ya-Ya's Euro Bistro, started their kitchen showdown in the Wally Allen Ballroom at the Statehouse Convention Center. Knapp is also a former executive chef at Pulaski Tech's Big Rock Bistro.
Diamond Chef followed the format of the popular Iron Chef series. Each chef and his two sous-chefs had 60 minutes to prepare three dishes using the surprise ingredient - ostrich eggs - announced just minutes before the competition's start.
The chefs' culinary creations were judged on plate presentations, creativity and taste. Judges included Master Chef John Johnstone, Master Chef Peter Timmins, and Chef Paul Bash. Chef Edward Hornyak, corporate executive chef for Performance Food Group, served as technical judge.