In Good Taste

Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament Kicks Off June 16

Sixteen chefs will battle it out in a one-on-one single-elimination tournament

By Payam Agha-Ghassem | June 12, 2014, 12:00 am

--Photo by The Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament
In Good Taste

Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament Kicks Off June 16

Sixteen chefs will battle it out in a one-on-one single-elimination tournament

By Payam Agha-Ghassem | June 12, 2014, 12:00 am

--Photo by The Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament

For those who like a little heat in the kitchen, the fourth annual Mason Dixon Chef Master Tournament kicks off on June 16.

The 15-day tournament pits 16 regional chef teams one-on-one in a single-elimination competition. It will be held at the Inn at the Colonnade Baltimore.

Similar to Iron Chef America from the Food Network, the chefs will compete in a timed competition in which they'll create an appetizer, entree, and dessert for three expert judges.

The chefs are scored on creativity, presentation, and taste. In this bracket-style tournament, only one chef advances to the next round until it gets down to the finale on Aug. 24 when one chef will be crowned the 2014 Mason Dixon Master Chef.

Last year’s winner was chef Neill Howell, who now owns Corner Pantry.

Gerardo Gonzales, Jake Hack, and Jeff Keeney are among the local chefs who are competing in this year’s tournament.

Keeney from The Point in Fells in Baltimore has competed in the previous three years of the tournament, making it to the semifinals each year.

“The tournament made me a better chef,” Keeney says. “I’ve been in the business since I was 13. It’s really refined my cooking. This pushes me to do different things and get ahead of the curve.”

Hack, a chef at Conrad’s Seafood Restaurant in Perry Hall, competed in last year’s tournament and made it to the second round.

“We really pride ourselves in unique blends of flavors and combinations of food that you wouldn’t typically see together,” Hack says.

The experience for Hack was invaluable.

“I think it’s just a fantastic opportunity to work with a bunch of other great local chefs and have a good time,” Hack says.

Guests can purchase general admission tickets for $25, which are on sale now. Ten percent of the proceeds from each ticket sold will go to Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland.

Other local competitors include Timothy Dyson of Bluegrass Tavern, Mark Tracey of Roland Park Place, and Kiet Philavanh of Basta Pista. A full list of the competing chefs is available here.




You May Also Like


In Good Taste

Asian Street Food Eatery The Hot Dry Opens in Former Minnow Space

Chef Ben Lefenfeld discusses the importance of authenticity and his love of noodles.


On The Town

National Tequila Day Specials to Quench Your Summer Cocktail Cravings

Get your fix with discounted margaritas and frozen drinks at these local bars.


Food & Drink

Local Flavor Live Podcast: The Art of Dining Solo

Plus, Whitehall Mill vendor lineup, Restaurant Week tips, and our best bites this week.

In Good Taste

Open & Shut: Papi Cuisine; Royal Farms Chicken; Poké World

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.

Food & Drink

On The Market

Broadway Market gets a makeover.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Greedy Reads Plans Remington Expansion for Late Fall: The Fells Point bookstore will open its second location in a space across from R. House.

New Club Brings Together Baltimoreans With Shared Dining Interests: As it develops, the Baltimore Supper Club hopes to bridge neighborhood gaps.

Baltimore Clayworks and City Youth Create Tile-Mosaic Mural in Park Heights: Ceramic arts center partners with community organizations to bring the project to life.

We Choose Explores Black Womanhood in Fells Point: The new exhibit features works by emerging black female artists at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Museum.

First-Ever Baltimore Drag Festival Sashays to Creative Alliance: Brooklyn Heights discusses what to expect from the inaugural extravaganza.