Hoover Restaurant Week to organize first Iron Chef competition

Published 2:15 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2024

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

HOOVER – Hoover Restaurant Week will soon host the inaugural outing of the city’s own version of Iron Chef that is set to occur next month on Thursday, Feb. 29 at the Jefferson State Community College’s Shelby-Hoover Campus located off of Valleydale Road.

The upcoming event, presented by Enjoy Hoover, will feature the local talents of chefs Brian Mooney of Tre Luna Bar and Kitchen, Chris Kennedy of Farrelly’s Southern Bar and Kitchen,  Andrew Hatcher of Bellinis Ristorante and Bobby Beard of Merk’s Tavern & Kitchen at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham-Wynfrey Hotel.

Although the competition, which seeks to highlight the level of culinary skill that can be found among Hoover’s many restaurants, will not be open for public attendance, it will be viewable as a live broadcast on Hoover Restaurant Week’s Facebook page.

During the event, all chefs will be responsible for the preparation of a shrimp appetizer, beef entrée and a specialty desert which will be inspected and scored by a panel of judges. The judge’s panel will include Mayor Frank Brocato, Claire Huddleston of WBRC and Joseph Mitchell, chef at Jefferson State Community College.

To assist the main competitors, sous chefs from Jefferson State and RC3 will also appear in support roles for each chef.

“This competition is the perfect opportunity for these young culinarians to work with seasoned

professional chefs from the Hoover area,” says David Cohen, president of EnjoyHoover.com. “Birmingham is well-known for their restaurants, but there are a lot of great chefs in Hoover, too, and this event is a chance for them to showcase their talents.”

While EnjoyHoover.com is the presenting sponsor for the event, the competition is also supported by a list of other sponsors. Those additional sponsors include the city of Hoover, Evans Meats, the Alabama Cattleman’s Association, BRESCO Restaurant Equipment and Kitchenworx.

“The mission of Hoover Restaurant Week is to promote awareness of all the great restaurants in Hoover,” Cohen said. “Hoover Restaurant Week has expanded into the entire month of July, and now we’readding this event in February. It’s just another way we can help the Hoover restaurant community grow.”

Those interested in learning more about the event, or Hoover Restaurant Week, are encouraged to visit Hooverrestaurantweek.com for more information.