$5000 prize to winner of the Garlic Showdown July 26 2009 High Noon
Rules for the Garlic Showdown at High Noon at the Gilroy Garlic Festival
Each contestant is chosen by either
1. the chair/assistant
chair of the event or by a sponsoring TV/Radio station
2. Each contestant must be a professional chef
3. Chefs are not required to wear their chef “whites”
4. Each contestant may/should bring their own specialty
spices/herbs, specialty cooking oils, oils for deep frying,
and wine. We will provide wine for each cooking
5. Each contestant must bring their own cookware and
specialty items such as blenders, food processors,
6. Each contestant may bring one sous chef
7. The cook-off does not provide grills
8. Contestants may not bring written recipes with them
9. The contest will start at noon and culminate at 2:00PM
10. Each contestant will be required to prepare two dishes
11. Each team will be allowed to review the pantry items at
11:30 a.m. which will be prior to the reveal of the secret
ingredient which will be revealed @ “High Noon”
12. All contestants will start at 12:05PM
13. Each contestant will have one-hour from start to finish
14. All contestants will stop at the same time
15. The first contestant must be ready to present their two
dishes to judges at 1:05PM the remaining contestants
will present at ten-minute intervals
16. Contestants will be judged on: presentation, originality,
flavor, texture and use of the “secret ingredient”
17. The winner will be announced at 2:00PM and
awarded the $5,000 prize. The remaining contestants
(team) will be awarded $500
Stokes Restaurant & Bar, Monterey
Absinthe Brasserie and Bar, San Francisco
When he began his culinary career 10 years ago,
BRIAN CHRISTENSEN would call his grandmother for
recipe ideas. Now, Grandma is probably asking her
grandson for a few tips.
Born and raised in Carmel, Calif., Christensen worked
his way up the food chain to become executive chef of
Stokes Restaurant & Bar in Monterey, Calif. He graduated
at the top of his class from Le Cordon Bleu culinary
institute in San Francisco while simultaneously acting as
opening sous chef for rising star chef Joe Bosworth in the
city’s Bambuddha Lounge.
Christensen joined Stokes as sous chef in 2005, where
he was later promoted to executive chef. He feels that
Monterey County offers him the best of all worlds – “the
produce in Salinas Valley, the wines of Santa Lucia, the
line-caught fish from Monterey Bay and the mushrooms
in Big Sur … I am blessed with the abundance of this
area and am fortunate enough to have a discerning
audience of food lovers to keep me on my toes”
“Top Chef” contestant JAMIE LAUREN rose from mixing
meatloaf and chicken cutlets in Manhattan to become
one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Rising Star Chefs in
2005, Restaurant Hospitality’s Rising Star Chef 2008,
and the executive chef of Absinthe Brasserie and Bar in
An honors graduate of the Culinary Institute of America,
Lauren has worked with a number of celebrity chefs –
including Anita Lo, Lance Dean Velasquez and Jean-
Michel Bouvier – whom she credits with teaching her
how to meld the exotic flavors and ingredients she works
Best described as American-influenced French and
northern Italian, the menu at Absinthe echoes Lauren’s
commitment to organic, locally grown, seasonal ingredients.
Lauren says her cuisine “looks good and taste
good, but it’s not so refined that you find yourself afraid
to touch it. … A lot of love goes into each dish.”
Cathedral Hill Hotel, San Francisco
BRUCE PATON CEC has been working in professional
kitchens for over twenty years. Better known as “The
Beer Chef”, Bruce hosts beer and food pairing events
as well as featuring “San Francisco Cuisine” in the Jack
Tar Bar and Grill and The Cathedral Hill Hotel’s 30,000
square feet of banquet space where he has worked as
Executive Chef since 2001. He started his career as the
Banquet Chef at The Claremont Resort and Spa then
went on to become the Executive Chef at Barclays Restaurant
and Pub, The Clift Hotel and Flagship Events by
Chef Bruce has been a writer for The Culinarian Magazine
column “The Beer Chef” for over seven years and
recently contributed to several issues of Draft magazine.
Chef Bruce has been hosting the “Dinner with the Brewmaster”
series since 1995 in three consecutive different
venues. He has created special menus for over seventyfive
of these fun events to date and is nationally recognized
as an expert at pairing food with beer. Chef Bruce
was featured on the cover of The Celebrator Beer News
magazine in October of 2005, the cover of Beer Advocate
magazine in July 2008 and was also featured on
CBS Eye on the Bay’s “Bay Area Beer Segment”.
Known for his critically acclaimed California
Mediterranean cuisine, “Top Chef”’s RYAN SCOTT of
Modesto, Calif., draws from a wealth of education
and national experience.
In 1999, Scott entered the prestigious California
Culinary Academy in San Francisco, and began his
professional career with a one-year internship at Bistro
Roxy in Reno, Nev. In 2001, he decided to take a trip
to Hawaii, and soon embarked on a whirlwind adventure
throughout the United States during which he studied
under a variety of acclaimed chefs and cemented
his skills and vision.
In 2005, Scott returned to San Francisco and became
chef and manager of Myth Café, which was recognized
one year later as the No. 1 dining destination by San
Francisco magazine. In 2008, he showcased his New
American cuisine on Bravo Television Network’s “Top
Chef: Chicago.” Scott uses his talents to help others
during his annual Thanksgiving Bag Lunch Giveaway,
where he and a team of volunteers create from scratch
1,500 lunches for people in need.
Celebrity chefs GENE SAKAHARA and SAM BOZZO achieved their
popularity as a team – SakaBozzo, or “Twins Separated at Birth.”
Though not genetically identical, SakaBozzo share an educational
background and the distinguished title of former Gilroy Garlic Festival
president, and both call the city of Gilroy home.
Sakahara’s passion for garlic was ignited in his early years when
he began working in garlic fields and later at a garlic processing
plant while in college, while Bozzo gained his culinary expertise
through restaurant ownership and cooking demonstrations. Since
then, both have been featured as celebrity chefs not only at the
Garlic Festival, but also at promotional events for Macy’s and Nob
Hill Foods, the Gridley Rice Festival, and a number of other foodrelated
extravaganzas, both local and international.
Sakahara and Bozzo have both been nominated for the KSBW-TV
Jefferson Awards for their community service and contributions to
the city of Gilroy. Sakahara is a retired elementary school principal,
but continues to serve as a consultant and administrative
coach with the University of California – Santa Cruz. Bozzo previously
worked as director of facilities for Gilroy Unified School
District, and retired as assistant superintendent of human resources
at the Monterey County Office of Education.
BARBARA DELORENZO has been involved in the Garlic
Festival for many years; the past four years serving as
assistant chairman and then chairman of the cook-off/
recipe contest stage. During her tenure, she and her
assistant chair, Dennis Harrigan (now chairman of the
event) conceived of and implemented the “Showdown”
which has become a highlight on the cook-off stage.
Barbara is currently serving on the Advisory Committee
for the Garlic Festival and has served as the auditor for
the Gilroy Garlic Queen competition for many years.
Barbara was born in Rendsburg, Germany and came
to the United State at the age of three. Barbara has
been married to her husband Gary over 29 years. They
have two grown children, four grandchildren and one
on the way!
Barbara is passionate about her family, friends, Garlic
Festival, cooking and golf. By profession she is a Certified
Public Accountant. Barbara is also involved in her
community currently serving on the Personnel Commission
for the City of Gilroy and is a past member of the
Parks and Recreation Commission. Barbara has been
involved in numerous other activities in her community.
BILL CHRISTOPHER’S farming roots go all the way back
to the 1880’s when his great grandfather immigrated
from Denmark to the Santa Clara Valley in California.
Bill was born and raised in South San Jose and grew
up on the family farm. When his father, Don, and his
uncle, Art, started A & D Christopher Ranch in 1956,
Bill’s future was already taking shape. By age 10,
he was spending his summers out in the fields picking
Today, Bill is co-owner and manager of Christopher
Ranch and oversees more than 4,000 acres of garlic
and row crops. At 60 million pounds annually, the
Ranch is the largest producer of fresh California garlic in
the United States. They also produce peeled garlic, shallots,
roasted garlic, jarred products, ginger, specialty
onions, cherries and more.
Bill resides in Gilroy, a city whose reputation as the
“Garlic Capital of the World”, he’s helped to maintain.
Christopher Ranch is a co-founder of the Gilroy Garlic
Festival and Bill has been actively involved in the Festival
since its inception in 1978.
MARCY SMOTHERS is an ordinary person with extraordinary
curiosity. Her culinary enthusiasm is the focus of her
career in broadcasting and blogging.
In 2004 Marcy was happily leading the life of wife,
mom, foodie and avid sports fan when she reluctantly
agreed to audition for a local News/Talk show in Sonoma
County. She won the position and helmed her own
daily show on KSRO for eighteen months.
In 2006 she was a frequent guest host on KGO in San
Francisco. She joined forces with the Food Network’s
Guy Fieri in 2007 and created the nationally syndicated
radio program Food Guy and Marcy.
Marcy refers to herself as a “homecooker.” By her standards,
that’s a step above the average home cook and
a few notches below a gourmet chef. Although she is
a committed carnivore, she anointed herself a “vegetablist,”
as she strives to have vegetables comprise fifty
percent of her daily diet.
DANA STUBBLEFIELD was drafted in the first round (26th
overall) of the 1993 NFL Draft by the San Francisco
49ers. In his rookie year, Stubblefield led the 49ers with
10.5 sacks (making himself The NFL Defensive Rookie
of the Year), and recorded 8.5 the following year. His
1997 season found him recording 15 sacks. He was
rewarded for his efforts by being named 1997’s NFL
Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press.
After the 1997 season, he was granted unconditional
free agency and signed with the Washington Redskins
where his numbers greatly diminished despite the fact
that he played opposite Dan Wilkinson, who often drew
double-teams.He returned to San Francisco in 2001
and 2002, and played with the Oakland Raiders as
a free agent in 2003. In 2004 he was signed by the
New England Patriots, but released before the start of
Currently, Dana is the varsity defensive line coach at
Valley Christian High School in San Jose, California.
Ably hosted by FABIO VIVIANI, Executive Chef of Café Firenze and Top
Chef Season 5 Fan Favorite, was the stand-out chef on
this past season’s Top Chef, Season 5, which was just
nominated three times for the 2009 Emmys. Fabio will
begin a new show of his own this fall to air before the
end of 2009.
Fabio’s new cookbook, Café Firenze Cookbook,
Mangia e Bevi, co-authored with business partner and
best friend since the age of twelve, Jacopo Falleni, is
scheduled for release on July 22 with a Hollywood style
launch at his restaurant, Café Firenze in Moorpark, CA.
Fabio began his culinary career at the age of twelve. Always
asking for a chance to cook, he was given the opportunity
two years later at fourteen when one busy night
the chef cut himself badly and Fabio had the chance to
prove himself. He has never looked back.
Fabio attended Italy’s Instituto Professionale per I Servizi
Alberghieri in Florence, focusing on advanced Tuscan
and regional cooking as well as a wide variety of specialization
courses. He spent months, sometimes working
for free, at regional restaurants and abroad to learn
the secrets of master chefs. Currently, Fabio is specializing
in Molecular Cuisine, using cutting-edge technology
to perfect his art. He describes his style of cooking as
“Northern Italian Comfort-styled foods”.
Bringing his talent back to his hometown of Florence,
Fabio co-owned and managed several high-volume
Florentine restaurants. There Fabio won awards for his
dry aged steaks at the Sagra Della Bistecca Awards
in Cortona and his cheese and wine selections at the
2004 Enofood Awards.
Fabio has organized food events for fashion shows by
Roberto Cavalli, Alessandrini, Gucci, and others and
acts as a consultant to several Florentine restaurants in
the promotion of Tuscan fusion cuisine. Fabio has been
personal chef for a number of Italian celebrities.
Outside the kitchen, Fabio enjoys soccer, fishing,
Labels: foodnetwork, gilroy garlic festival, recipe contest