The Dining Dish blog is Dara Bunjon's take on anything food, both national and in her hometown of Baltimore. Warning: this food blog can be harmful to your waistline.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Finalists of Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament Set to Compete


PRESS RELEASE:  The Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament, is a  multi-week event is a single-elimination tournament designed to showcase some of the area's finest executive chefs and restaurants. Guests attending this exciting event will be more than just spectators, as they enjoy the unique experience of witnessing two spectacular area chefs battle it out in the prep kitchen right on the main floor. Each evening two chef teams go head-to-head to prepare an appetizer, entrée and dessert for each of three expert judges, as well as amuse bouche portions of their entrees for up to 30 audience member judges. Their creations are scored on creativity, presentation and taste, and only one chef advances to the next round. At the end of this tournament only one of the 16 competing chefs will emerge as THE Mason Dixon Master Chef! 10% of the net proceeds of each ticket sold directly to Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland. More information available at www.MasonDixonMasterChef.com ,

Final Two Restaurants to Compete on August 13, 2017

The Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament, the mid-Atlantic’s largest, live, interactive culinary competition, is coming to a close this Sunday, August 13, 2017. The summer-long competition began in early June with a field of 16 hopefuls, but is now down to the final two chef teams, who will go head-to-head for cash and prizes and the title of The 2017 Mason Dixon Master Chef Champions!

Below are the details for the final match Battle Royale, tickets are on sale now and are expected to sell-out.

Battle Royale

August 13 – Chef Fabio Mura of Grille 620 and River Hill Grill vs. Chef Damon Hersh of The Inn at Brookville Farms

Chef Fabio Mura, Grille 620 / River Hill Grill
Chef Fabio grew up in Sardinia, Italy where he obtained his culinary Degree in Culinary Arts and Management. He moved to the U.S. 19 years ago, where he made a home in Baltimore, and has since worked at some of the best restaurants in Baltimore, including: Sotto Sopra, Boccaccio, Blue Sea Grill, and Chazz: a Bronx Original. He is currently the executive chef at Grille 620 located at the Turf Valley Town Square and at River Hill Grill.

Chef Fabio won "Favorite New Restaurant" from the Restaurant Association of Maryland in 2014. He was also nominated for "Best Chef" from the Restaurant Association of Maryland in 2015.

Chef Damon Hersh, The Inn at Brookeville Farms
Chef Damon Hersh has been cooking for over 20 years, and in the restaurant business for over 25 years. He has experience and skill in a wide variety of culinary environments, including high-end fine dining, casual eating, family style, and ethnic influences. Chef Damon is currently the executive chef at The Inn at Brookville Farms located in Montgomery County in Brookeville, MD.

The Championship match will be held Sunday, August 13th. Bios of all competing chefs are available at http://www.masondixonmasterchef.com/schedule-results/bracket.php. The competitions will be held at Points South Latin Kitchen, 1640 Thames Street, Baltimore, MD (www.pointssouthbaltimore.com/).

Tournament Ticket Details

Tickets for the Final match are available for purchase at:

http://www.masondixonmasterchef.com/purchase-tickets/. Tickets are $65 and include all taxes, a wine tasting by Boordy Vineyards, passed hors d’oeurves, the competition, dessert and coffee.  New this year, ALL Tickets for the competition are ‘Judging Experience’ tickets, which allow all guests to taste each of the six courses the chef teams produce (family-style) and be part of the voting to decide the winner!

In addition, the Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament donates 10% of the net proceeds of each ticket sold directly to their charity partner Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland (http://www.mealsonwheelsmd.org).

Event Timeline:

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.)– Happy Hour with Complementary passed Hors d’oeurves and Wine Tasting by Boordy Vineyards, plus Drink and Food Specials
6:15 p.m. – Cold Prep Begins for the Competition
7:00 p.m. – Chef Competition
8:00 p.m. – Judging Begins, Complementary Dessert and Coffee Served


Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Where is Giada de Laurentiis opening her Baltimore restaurant?

Revealed during a live Facebook interview, the Italian chef and television personality Giada de Laurentiis let it be known she is opening a restaurant in Baltimore in 2018 but not the specific location.  My best guess, and guess it will be, is Baltimore Horseshoe Casino.

1.       Horseshoe Baltimore Casino has 3 banners showing the chefs/restaurateurs (see photograph) on the front of the casino: Guy Fieri with his Guy Fieri’s Baltimore Kitchen + Bar, Gordon Ramsay taking over the Jack Binion’s Steak House location with his  eponymous steak house and the 3rd, a silhouette of what looks like a woman --- could it be Giada? My guess is yes!   

2.       Giada has a relationship with Caesars Entertainment Corporation with her Las Vegas restaurant in the Cromwell Hotel and Caesars is affiliated with the Horseshoe Baltimore Casino

So a second question arises, why there is no banner for the celebrated chef duo of Aaron Sanchez and John Besh for their Johnny Sanchez Restaurant – is that the space Giada will be taking over?  This is all speculation on my part; I have no confirmation on any of this. If Johnny Sanchez Restaurant remains, then where does Giada’s restaurant go? Not the tiny Asian Fύ Noodle House – so again, my guess, Johnny Sanchez’s location. The Baltimore Horseshoe Casino opened in August, 2014 – so are we looking at 4 year contracts on the restaurants?  Again, this just conjecture, no real facts to support any of what I have posted here. Let me know if you think she is opening elsewhere in Baltimore.


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