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


Food & Drink

Local Flavor Live Podcast: St. Patrick’s Day is Upon Us

Plus, Abbey Burger Bistro Opening in Mt. Washington, Yelp ranks Baltimore a top food city, and Papi's opens in Hampden.

In Good Taste

BRD Expanding With New Shop in Federal Hill This Summer

R. House fried chicken spot scores its own space. And yes, it will be open late.

Food & Drink

Feeds We Are Falling For

On Instagram, these four local foodies leave us hungry for more.


In Good Taste

The Most Decadent Dishes to Try This Valentine’s Day

Indulge in truffles, pasta, and red velvet cake at these romantic restaurants.

The Chatter

What to Expect from the Revitalization of Baltimore’s Historic Chinatown

Developers and community leaders plan a modern interpretation of the forgotten district.

In Good Taste

Get to Know Diverse Vendors Moving Into Cross Street Market

Lineup includes many minority and female-owned businesses.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Deyane Moses’ Blackives Revises MICA’s Racist History: New exhibit and online database inspires institutional change at the art school.

March Madness Food and Drink Specials That Are Slam Dunks: Fill out your bracket and head to these local watering holes for NCAA games.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Maryland Prepares to Open in Jonestown: We chat with president and CEO Sandy Pagnotti about the new Baltimore facility.

Five Things to Know About Broadway Market in Fells Point: For starters, one of the stalls officially opens today.

Catherine Pugh Resigns From UMMS Board Amid $500,000 Book Deal Controversy: Baltimore mayor earned $100,000 in profits in burgeoning ethics scandal.