Mary Beth Ringgold of Cajun’s Wharf, Capers Restaurant and Copper Grill has won the title of Diamond Chef Arkansas for the second year in a row.
Ringgold defended her title against six chefs: Casey Copeland of The Avenue, Jordan Davis of Chenal Country Club, Brandon Douglas of Green Leaf Grill, Jamie McAfee of Pine Bluff Country Club, Joseph Salgueiro of Pleasant Valley Country Club and Coby Smith of Arkansas Heart Hospital.
At the beginning of Thursday evening, all the chefs’ banners were hanging high in the University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute building. As the competition progressed, the losers’ banners fell to the floor. Smith, McAfee and Copeland were the first chefs eliminated.
Ringgold, Davis, Salgueiro and Douglas proceeded to the final round, where each prepared a dish that included a mystery ingredient – in this case, rabbit. Ultimately, Douglas placed fourth, Salgueiro came in third, Davis took second place and Ringgold won the gold. Competition was fierce between the top two places; Davis, a University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College graduate, had a combined score of 329 points to Ringgold’s 334 points.
As a result of her second win, Ringgold will enter the Diamond Chef Hall of Fame. It’s been quite the year so far for Ringgold, who was also named the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame Proprietor of the Year in March.
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