Chef Plum Hosts 5th Annual CT Chefs Challenge

CTbites Team

On Friday, September 18th join Optimus Foundation for the 5th Annual CT Chefs Challenge at the Lincoln Culinary Institute in Shelton. Enjoy an evening of food, music and raffles while eight of CT’s top chefs compete for this year’s champion title!

The event will consist of two rounds of culinary battle, each chef has one hour and a maximum budget of $300 to prepare 10 plates of their signature dish. No ahead of time cooking in this battle of culinary excellence. Each chef is allowed to bring one Sous Chef as well as utilize Lincoln Culinary students to help them be the champion. The dishes will be judged on “Taste, Creativity and Presentation." The top scoring dish will win the championship belt and the $1,000 grand prize! Attendees will also have the chance to choose a “People's Choice” winner with a purchase of a Tasting Ticket that allows guests to taste each chef's dish at the tasting tables.

Chefs Contestants include:

• Mark Vecchitto – Seehund German Pub: 2014 Winner

• Adam Bedini – StrEATery

• Trevor McGrath – YooNeke and Hells Kitchen Season 9

• Justin Kern – Meeting House Pub

• Carlos Baez – The Spread

• Joshua Morosi – A Chef’s Choice

• Jason Maur – MaurPowerFoodie and Masterchef Season 3

• Carol Koty – The Waterview and Lockwood Lodge and World Food championship competitor


Our host this year is Chef Plum owner of Plum Luv Foods and Pork Belly Productions. He has had multiple appearances on Food Network, ABC, CBS, BET, Jamie Oliver's Food Tube and more. When we say that Plum is one of the best guys around, we’re not exaggerating. Plus, he’s hella funny, so we can’t wait to see him harass the chef contestants, the judges, and maybe you, if you’re lucky. “I am honored to part of such an important event for such an important cause, lets have some fun!” says Chef Plum.

Our distinguished panel of judges includes:

• Chef Derrick Prince of Stanton Social (owned by Chris Santos) who made it as a finalist on

Masterchef. He’s also no stranger to the judges chair, having helped decide winners at the recent Bacon and Beer Classic, NY Best Wings Festival, and the NYC Hot Sauce Expo.

• Judy and Joy They have been featured on The Talk alongside Julie Chen and Sharon Osbourne and so much more. The Wonder Twins have been all over TV, have their own cookbook, their own newspaper column, and even their own radio show. “We are excited to part of this delicious event and we are readyto meet everyone. But … will they be ready for us???” says Judy.

• Ken Tuccio of Welcome to Connecticut Podcast. He’s interviewed countless people in the food field so it’s time for him to share some of that food knowledge that he’s absorbed and built up. “I love trying new food and learning about new food, I am excited to participate in this event and plan to judge my ass off.” says Ken.

Ticket prices and options:

-General Admission for $50 which includes complimentary beer/wine, apps, food buffet, coffee from Shear Water Coffee Roasters, and dessert.

-Tasting Ticket for $100 which includes everything that the general admission ticket provides plus a reserved seat at a shared table to vote for the People's Choice Award.

Coffee provided by: Shear Water Coffee Roasters

Proceeds from the evening benefit the mission of the Optimus Foundation, which is to is support development of new Optimus facilities and improvements in existing Optimus facilities and to promote public awareness and understanding of the services Optimus provides. We believe a healthy community leads to an improved quality of life for all of us who work, live and play in our community.

Full details and to purchase tickets visit