3/19/2013 10:59:00 AM

Philly Chefs Prepare to Battle at Ommegang Hop Chef Competition

Nicholas Elmi at last year's Hop Chef event
Hop Chef pits the best young chefs against one another in a beer-soaked cooking battle, and the Philly competition is set for April 23 at Union Transfer. It's the second year in Philly for the Brewery Ommegang contest, which is designed to challenge chefs to use beer as an ingredient and make food that pairs perfectly with brew.

The competition is open to the public, and guests even get to vote on a people’s choice champ. We’re happy to report that in addition to the new venue this year, the entire event has been rethought. Beer and food meant to pair together will now be offered at the same table, and the whole “flow” of the tasting should go much more smoothly. A panel of judges will decide which chef gets to represent Philly in the finals at Ommegang’s Cooperstown, NY brewery this summer.

This year’s contestants are Eli Kulp (Fork), Mike Deganis (Alla Spina), Lucio Palazzo (La Calaca Feliz), Nick Macri (Southwark), Pat Szoke (The Industry) and Yun Fuentes (JG Domestic). Last year’s contest sparked a ton of lively Twitter trash talk between the chefs, and there’s no doubt we’ll see more of the same this time around. Follow #HopChef to keep up with the banter.

(Side note: as former Top Chef contestant Jennifer Zavala pointed out, there are zero women chefs in the mix; there weren’t any females in the group last year, either. Why? Not sure.)

Tickets to Hop Chef are available online here for $53.50 per person, and a portion of the proceeds will go to Philly nonprofits Mural Arts Program and Groundswell.

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