Executive Chef John Zehnder, CEC, ACE, HGT, AAC
For the past 21 years the finale event of Zehnder’s Snowfest has been the professional chefs’ hot food competition & tasting. Some say it’s the best kept secret of Snowfest – personally I hope that’s not true!
Each year I say, “don’t go anywhere out to eat but Zehnder’s on the day of our chefs’ competition because all the area chefs are here at Zehnder’s competing”.
Our culinary competition is conducted under the direction of the American Culinary Federation; the professional organization of cooks, chefs, bakers and pastry chefs. For four years I served as the Central Region Vice President of this organization; overseeing a fifteen state area and over 6,000 chefs. One of the primary goals of the ACF is to train, certify and increase the culinary skills of chefs throughout the United States.
The culinary staff here at Zehnder’s are all ACF involved.
Nothing whets the appetite of a young and upcoming chef like a cooking competition just like the ones you see on the Food Channel and that’s what our competition is all about.
Here’s how it works:
Each year is a different theme. In 2013 it will be UNDER THE TUSCAN MOON – “A Culinary Salute to Italy”. The event committee chooses meat/protein items. The competing chefs then pick a category and create a recipe which they will prepare, have professionally judged and then you, as a paid guest, get to taste these wonderful dishes.
It truly is like something you see on the Food Channel, only you’ll be part of the action.
This year’s competition food items are; Calamari & Mussels, Ground Beef, Veal, Chicken Breast & Duck Breasts. It’s always interesting what spectacular recipes the chefs orchestrate. In addition to the food, each chef will decorate their table in the theme of the night – Italian. We’ll have two dozen chefs competing for cash and trophies and the paid guests get to select the “Peoples Choice Award”. Additionally, we always host Grand Buffet tables where the food is prepared by the culinary students of Saginaw ISD High School Career Center and the Culinary Arts Program of Mott Community College. Those food items will include; wild boar ragu, squid ink pasta, osso buco, Italian baron of beef and many more authentic Italian dishes. Gordon Food Service finishes the evening with their “sinfully delicious dessert buffet”.
Throughout the evening our guests will be entertained by Matt Walch, an Ann Arbor native, and a national award winning Frank Sinatra Tribute Artist.
It’s a casual walk-around affair with limited seating – each chef will have their own table so you’ll want to casually stroll around to see, taste and experience their creations.
If you’re a TV “foodie watcher” this event is a must see. Ticket are $30 each and the money goes to the Saginaw East Side Soup Kitchen’s “After School Dinner Program” that feeds 350 to 450 Saginaw kids dinner each day.
Join us Monday, January 28th here at Zehnder’s Restaurant from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Tickets are available in our Guest Service’s Office – call 989 652-0450.
Great Food for a Great Cause!!!!!
~Executive Chef John Zehnder, Zehnder’s Restaurant