Lynchburg, VA - If you've ever seen the Bravo's "Top Chef," you know how it works. Chefs make special dishes and are judged on several different categories. Saturday, Lynchburg had its own version of the cooking competition.
The event took place at the Jubilee Family Development Center. The center gives educational, professional and social programs for children and their families.
It was a night of sizzle, good company, and of course a lot of food.
Hundreds of people filled the gym at the Jubilee center for Lynchburg's Top Chef. Eight local chefs each came up with a dish to impress the judges.
"We're doing a lobster and corn fritter served on local tomato and goat cheese salad, served with basil mayonnaise," said Roger Murphy, head chef at Shoemaker's.
"What I look for is just deliciousness. It could be very basic or very complicated but if it's not delicious it's a failure in my mind," said Johnny Iuzzini.
And the chefs hope to deliver just that. But the night was about more than just the food. Pictures at every table were reminders that this is all for the children.
"The idea behind the Jubilee is great...they're really pushing their community, giving back," said Iuzzini.
"It's all a donation. So we're all having fun. Most of us went to school together, we've all worked together. We're probably going to help each other plate. It's all fun, and whoever wins, wins," said Sean Meeks, head chef at Isabella's.
All of the money will benefit the Jubilee center so it can maintain its programs for children and their families.
"In New York, there are so many opportunities to give however we don't do them all as frequently as we want to, so it's great to come down here and be a part of it," said Valerie Meehan, a judge who runs the restaurant Market Table in the West Village in NYC.
All those chefs donated their time and food on a busy night for a restaurant. In the end, the judges voted Chefs Adi McCauley and Ivy Taylor from Magnolia Foods as the winners. They made lamb and local goat cheese dumplings with an mint chili sauce served over kale chips. The two chefs won a trip to New York City.
The audience also voted for their favorite dish, and the chefs at Avenue Foods Catering won! They win a VIP escape to Washington DC.