Todd Gold, other fantastic chefs feted at 2011 Chef Ball | Rock Candy

Todd Gold, other fantastic chefs feted at 2011 Chef Ball

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FABULOUS:  Smoked sirloin from Chef Dan Capello at Chefs Ball
  • Kat Robinson
  • FABULOUS: Smoked sirloin from Chef Dan Capello at Chefs' Ball
I have been utterly remiss... I should have already been beaming strongly about the Chef Ball this weekend at Pulaski Technical College's main campus. It was, without a doubt, fabulous.

It wasn't just the food — though that was quite incredible. Seriously — venison comfit. Mushroom soup prepared with Grand Marnier. Brown sugar ice cream in meringue. Oh, heavens.

It was also a chance to celebrate the chefs and culinarians of Central Arkansas. On the jump — more about the food and the news release from PTC.

The release:

Pulaski Technical College faculty, staff and students took top honors Sunday night in the 2011 Chef Ball, sponsored by the American Culinary Federation Central Arkansas Chapter.

Todd R. Gold, CEC, CCA, AAC, director of the PTC Arkansas Culinary School Programs, was named Chef of the Year, making him the only chef to receive that honor three times—2003, 2006, and 2010.

The Warren Eyman Memorial Scholarship Student of the Year award went to LaBrilya (Bree) Robinson, a culinary student who works as a prep cook at The Peabody Hotel Little Rock. Jennifer Stoelting, CC, a PTC graduate who works at the Finish Line Cafe as a sous chef, was named Sous Chef of the Year.

Also Chef Robert Best presented Peter Brave, owner of Brave New Restaurant, with the Hall of Fame Award, and staff from the Culinary School surprised Todd Gold with the “Gold Award” for his dedication to the culinary school.

The Formica and Ben E. Keith Culinary Community Service Award went to Rob Best, CEC, culinary faculty at the PTC Arkansas Culinary School and owner of Simply the Best Catering. Rusty Mathis, general manager of Ben E. Keith, presented the award.

Chef Suzanne Campbells Petite Cheese and Tomato Aspic
  • Kat Robinson
  • Chef Suzanne Campbell's Petite Cheese and Tomato Aspic was a combination of tart, salty and sweet with candied pecans
All of the winners received standing ovations at the event, which featured a six-course dinner prepared by some of Arkansas’ finest chefs. Gov. Mike Beebe, who attended the event with his wife, Ginger, applauded the chefs as among “the finest in the country.” Celebrity Chef Sam Choy, well-known for his appearance on The Food Network and on Iron Chef America, also spoke to guests about his Hawaiian regional specialties.

Chef Sam Choys beautiful poke salad with ahi tuna with Chef Jamie McAfees fabulous mushroom soup with Grand Marnier -- fantastically good.
  • Kat Robinson
  • Chef Sam Choy's beautiful poke salad with ahi tuna with Chef Jamie McAfee's fabulous mushroom soup with Grand Marnier — fantastically good.
Among the specialties guests enjoyed were hors d’ oeuvres prepared by Chef William Ginocchio, CEC, from the PTC Arkansas Culinary School, and an appetizer of Petite Cheese and Tomato Aspic prepared by Chef Suzanne Campbell, CEC, from the PTC Arkansas Culinary School.

Chef Cindy East-Maliks Three Sisters Trout married together masa harina, butternut squash and green beans with fresh trout
  • Kat Robinson
  • Chef Cindy East-Malik's Three Sisters Trout married together masa harina, butternut squash and green beans with fresh trout
Chef Sam Choy prepared a poke salad of ahi tuna with fresh vegetables, somen noodles, which was paired with a Creamy Mushroom Soup prepared by Chef Jamie McAfee, CEC of the Pine Bluff Country Club.

PTC Arkansas Culinary School lead instructor Chef Cindy East Malik, CEC prepared the fish course of Trout en Papillote with fresh trout, masa harina, green beans and red peppers baked inside a corn husk.

Chef Dan Capellos deliciously smoked flat iron filet was wonderful with the pickled onion and mushroom salad over salty cheddar grits
  • Kat Robinson
  • Chef Dan Capello's deliciously smoked flat iron filet was wonderful with the pickled onion and mushroom salad over salty cheddar grits
Chef Dan Capello of the Chenal Country Club, the reigning Arkansas Diamond Chef, prepared an entrée of smoked beef flat iron with cheddar grits, with bacon-wrapped asparagus and pickled mushroom salad.

We werent really sure what to make of Chefs Poirot and Epplings meringue at first; what we assumed was butterscotch turned out to be brown sugar ice cream
  • Kat Robinson
  • We weren't really sure what to make of Chefs Poirot and Eppling's meringue at first; what we assumed was butterscotch turned out to be brown sugar ice cream
For dessert, Peabody Chefs Andre Poirot and Heidi Eppling prepared a pastry of light meringue filled with ice cream and chocolate ganache.

Gold sponsors for the event were Ben E. Keith company and Glazer’s Distributors of Arkansas. Special thanks go to Celebrity Chef Sam Choy, Governor Mike Beebe, Pulaski Technical College, Party Time Rentals, Floral Express, Chenal Country club, Finish Line Café, Big Rock Bistro, Peabody Hotel, Lisa Fischer, Sysco Foods, Kenneth Lipsmeyer. U.S. Foodservice, Pulaski Technical College Arkansas Culinary School.


Tracy Courage
Communications/Special Events Manager

Office of Public Relations and Marketing
Pulaski Technical College

Event photos can be found here.

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