July 26, 2013 9:49:44 AM
Starkville chefs will face off for bragging rights at Forks & Corks: A Taste for the Arts, a culinary challenge sponsored by the Starkville Area Arts Council at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Magnolia Manor in Starkville.
Six local chefs, including Barbara Vasser (Aramark/MSU), Paul Brasfield (Bin 612), Leon Jefferson (The Central Station Grill), Carnell McGee (Harvey's Starkville), John Fitzgerald (Restaurant Tyler) and Jay Yates (The Veranda) have committed to compete this year. Vying for culinary honors, each will provide a taste of their specialties and will be judged by a panel of celebrity guests.
"We are indebted to our local chefs for making this such a fun and fabulous event," said Michelle Amos, co-chair of Forks & Corks. "They take the competition very seriously and work hard at developing their dishes. They don't just provide a dish they serve on a regular basis ... they put their very best foot forward to make it fun."
While the names of the judges are being kept "top secret," co-chair Robin Fant is excited about the opportunity. "We've recruited judges with the expertise and talent to make this competition very real for the chefs. It's an opportunity for our local talent to showcase their incredible culinary skills. Our guests are in for a treat!"
Tim "Mookie" Wilson of Columbus will provide musical entertainment. "Mookie has an easy-listening, laid back style just perfect for a summer night," said Amos. "He'll provide the perfect atmosphere."
A live auction will conclude the evening. Up for bidding is a luxurious one-week vacation to Sterling Shores Resort located in the heart of Destin, Fla. Also up for auction is one of Starkville's celebrity chefs, who will cook for a party of four to six people. The owner of the winning bid will work with Chef Bob Abare of Aramark/MSU to create a menu and schedule the dinner. The winner is responsible for providing the ingredients for the dinner, and the chef provides the artistry. Scott's Wine and Spirits will contribute to the "corks" part of the auction, providing a basket of premium wines for bidding.
Tickets for the tasting event are $50 per person, which includes tasting rights and two beverage tickets. Attire is summer casual. To purchase tickets, make reservations or for more information, contact the SAAC office at 662-324-3080. Space is limited and reservations are required. All events will take place at Magnolia Manor at 215 North Jackson St. in Starkville.