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Great Chefs of Jacksonville IV Tickets on Sale Now

greatchefs2014Tickets are on sale now!! Get your tickets here. Northeast Florida’s most prestigious culinary competition returns to the gorgeous TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse in the spring of 2014. Once again, eight of the city’s top chefs (four per team) will gather to cook and compete, all to the delight of a hungry audience.

Great Chefs IV will take place the evening of Thursday, March 20.  Cocktail hour begins promptly at 6 PM. Please be on time because each team will have a cocktail that will be apart of the final scoring. The four-course dinner will start at 7 PM. Dinners will be treated to four individual courses (eight dishes in all, two per course) prepared by the dueling teams and paired with wine. Patrons will judge each course, picking one favorite dish from the two served. Ballots from each course are then collected and tabulated, with an invited panel of judges serving as the final arbiter in the event of a tie.

Team City includes Chef Christopher Cohen from bb’s, Chef Ian Lynch from Ovinte, Chef Tom Gray from Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails, Chef Steve Thurston from the Good Food Company and Bar Director Brian Brininker from Taverna. Team Beach includes Chef Patrick Moran from TPC Sawgrass, Chef Brett Smith from Vernon’s at Sawgrass Marriott, Chef Joshua Agan from the Flying Iguana and Chef Danny Groshell from Ocean 60.

Only 160 tickets will be offered. Tickets are $175 per person (and must be purchased in pairs), with proceeds benefiting Second Harvest. The locally based non-profit will also host a foodie-themed silent auction, with bidding open throughout the event. Please note: The event has always sold out well in advance. Click here to get your tickets today!! As of January 24 there are 96 tickets remain. 

Team City

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Ovinte, Ian Lynch- Ian fell in love with cooking at the age of 10 while helping his mother and grandfather prepare holiday meals. He received a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Northern Arizona State University and culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University in Denver. Ian landed an internship at Bistro Aix in Jacksonville, working under award-winning chef Tom Gray and worked his way up to Executive Sous Chef. From there he spent time as a consultant, but returned to the kitchen as Executive Chef at the Chef’s Garden catering company, and now as the Executive Chef of Ovinté. Outside of the kitchen, he enjoys surfing and spending time with his family. Ian and his wife Ashley have two children.

bb’s, Christopher Cohen- Chef Christopher has just relocated to Jacksinville as his Fiancé’s work has brought her to the Mayo Clinic.  He has worked at Ela’s Blu Water Grill on Hilton Head, The Olde Pink House and   Octagon Steakhouse at the Mystic Marriott in South Caroline.  At Wright Square Cafe , Chris was involved with opening this new restaurant, designing his kitchen for the 45-seat classic Bistro doing. Chris considers his strength to be his ability to manage relationships effectively including those with purveyors to cooks with patience in coaching and training.  He has excellent organizational skills and is very comfortable in the front as well as the back of the house.

The Good Food Company, Chef Steven D. Thurston- Chef Steven  grew up in Rockland County, New York and picked up his love of cooking from his grandmother. She had thirteen children of her own and could make miracles in the kitchen from nothing. Growing up in a heavily influenced Italian area and given the love of such food from his Aunt Linda, lead Chef Steven to his first job at the age of 15 at Hanchers, a small pub. Chef Steven has been privileged to work up and down the east coast having stops in Maryland, Connecticut, North Carolina and then here in Florida. He landed in Jacksonville Florida 5 years ago where he has worked local favorites like Mitchell’s Fish Market, Marker 32 and now at his home for the past two years, The Good Food Company, where he is the Executive Chef.  He focuses on flavors of the season and creativity.
Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails, Tom Gray- Moxie…verve…gusto…exuberance…summed up in Chef Tom Gray’s new “American flavors from coast-to-coast” restaurant, Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails, as well as words to describe the chef two-time James Beard Award-nominated chef himself.    Moxie employs a “full-circle approach” and is committed to sustainable sourcing and working with local and artisan producers every day. Recycling and eco-friendly practices form the core of Chef Tom’s personal and business philosophies. Gray grew up in Jacksonville, and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.  Professional experiences in New York City, Los Angeles and the Napa Valley exposed him to a variety of regional American flavors and techniques which he incorporates at his new restaurant, located at the Markets at Town Center.
Team Beach

AL8_2044r-webThe Flying Iguana, Joshua Agan- Originally from Vermont, Chef Agan began cooking professionally while pursuing a degree in studio art at Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design, in Denver, Colorado. His lust for culinary knowledge led to his enrollment at the New England Culinary Institute. Upon graduation, Joshua chose the opportunity to work for the prestigious Myriad Restaurant Group, as his internship, opening 9545 in Telluride, Colorado. His hunger pushed him to the San Francisco Bay area’s top restaurants, working under Bradley Ogden, at Lark Creek Inn, and George Marone at Fifth Floor. Chef Agan’s returned to Colorado, where his tenure in Aspen’s finest hotels included sous chef at Todd English’s Olives, in the St Regis Hotel, 39 Degrees at Sky Hotel, and Montagna, in the renowned Little Nell Hotel. After the birth of his daughter, he found himself back in the SF Bay area once again, where he became sous chef at Grand Cafe in the Hotel Monaco, and later sous chef at Taste Catering. Joshua was the executive chef at bb’s restaurant from 2010 to April 2013.

Vernon’s at Sawgrass Marriott, Brett Smith- Chef Smith’s love of cooking began when he was 16 years old working as an assistant for the Executive Pastry Chef at the Indian River Plantation Resort and Marina in Stuart, Florida. He graduated with a degree in Culinary Management from Palm Beach State College. In 1995, Smith graduated with Honors from the Culinary Institute of America in New York. In 1996, he received a Pastry Degree from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. Following graduation, Smith joined Interstate Hotels and Resorts, working at the Boca Raton Marriott as the Restaurant Chef for the 5150 Brasserie. He was later promoted to Sous Chef and transferred to the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa. In 2000, Smith became Executive Chef for the San Francisco Marriott Fisherman’s Wharf.  Chef Smith returned to Sawgrass as the Executive Chef de Cuisine in 2004. After a short leave to take on a position as Executive Chef with the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort in 2011, Chef Smith once again returned to Sawgrass as Resort Executive Chef.

Ocean 60, Daniel Groshell- Chef Daniel was born & raised in Jacksonville.  He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York, and opened Ocean 60 in 2001. One of his main culinary influences was his mother who was a master entertainer, artist and founder of the local Chapter of the Children’s International Summer Villages Organization.  As a young child, Chef Daniel had the opportunity to travel with his family to various parts of Europe & Central/ South America where he was exposed to different cultures and cuisine from a very young age.  With diverse cooking opportunities and positions ranging from Hawaii, to New York, he has been involved in Cooking & Culinary Arts mostly all of his life. In his household, it was a way of life.  He incorporates Global Flavors into each dish created and specifically embraces Coastal Cuisine using Fresh Flavors and his foundational French Classical Techniques.

TPC Sawgrass, Patrick Moran- Patrick moved to Jacksonville to attend the University of North Florida with a focus in molecular biology where he completed his Bachelor’s degree and continued his education into graduate school. During his tenure as a college student, his culinary pursuits began when he was given an opportunity to work in the kitchen at TPC at Sawgrass. With no formal training or any prior culinary experience, Patrick was driven by his passion for food and inquisitive nature to excel in his new endeavor. The road has been long and the process was slow but he credits his recent success after six years in the kitchen to his teammates around him. “Everyone that I have worked with here has been a part of my growth as a culinarian. Whether it was great or small, their influence has shaped the way I cook and taught me a trade that I will take with me for the rest of my life. And for that I am grateful.”