|The 2012 King of the Mountain Chef’s Challenge winner.
The Chef's Challenge was held Saturday, 17 March 2012 in
Highlands, North Carolina. .
|The 2012 King of the Mountain is
Chef Johannes Klapdohr !!
photo by Greg Newington
Chef Johannes Klapdohr has won the 2012 King of the Mountain Chef’s Challenge. The Executive Chef of Madison's Restaurant
at Old Edwards Inn has repeated as the King of the Mountain winner by defeating Chef Justin Ward in the final heat of the
competition held at the Farm pavilion of the luxurious Old Edwards Inn & Spa.
Patterned after television’s ‘Iron Chef’ competition in which two chefs compete to develop a gourmet meal using “mystery
ingredients,” the Highlands, North Carolina event is a bit more challenging. Unlike the television version in which the Chef’s are
told the single mystery ingredient prior to the event, the Highlands Chef Challenge keeps the mystery basket contents secret from
everyone until the moment the contest starts and then the chefs have just forty minutes to complete their meal. The event had
preliminary challenges in which two chefs faced off in a head-to-head challenge with the winners facing each other in the final
The first Challenge saw Chef John Fleer, Executive Chef Canyon Kitchen, against Chef Justin Ward, an Instructor at The
International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Atlanta and former owner of Harvest Restaurant & Cosecha Restaurant in
Atlanta, Georgia. Chef Ward was a last minute substitution for Chef Nick Figel of Cyprus International Cuisine, who became ill
during a trip to the island of Tobago. Chef Ward, defeated Chef John Fleer by preparing three courses from the mystery basket
of quail, coffee beans and citrus.
In the second heat, Chef Klapdohr defeated Chef Mat Kowal by delivering a three-course delight from a mystery basket of
Prawns, Coconut, mangos and bananas. Chef Denny Judge Denny Trantham, Executive Chief Grove Park Inn and Spa,
reported, it was a “Well fought battle between these two professionals of which Chef Klapdohr prevailed with his innate ability to
be creative yet skillful with his culinary skill.”
In the final round saw the winners of rounds one and two who battled it out creating three courses from a mystery basket
containing trout, radicchio and carrots.
All three culinary competitions were judged by two exceptionally talented and accomplished culinary experts including: Chef Kevin
Ouzts who is the Chef / Owner of the Spotted Trotter in Atlanta, Georgia, and Chef Denny Trantham who is the Executive Chef for
the Grove Park Inn. Last year’s judge, Ms. Shelley Skiles Sawyer, Managing Food Editor, Flavors Magazine, and Steve Day of
WHLC provided the color commentary for the event.
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