Montgomery chef provides food for thought in competition

September 27, 2013 by  

The U.S. Foods Next Top Product competition recently announced that Chef Leonardo Maurelli III of the Central Restaurant in Montgomery has been named as one of eight semifinalists in this year’s competition. It is most likely that the chef and his restaurant are using poster printing in the area around the restaurant to publicize this achievement to the food-appreciative public.

Chef Maurelli submitted his duck wontons recipe, which made him a semi-finalist for the southern region. Should he become a finalist for the region, he will then move on to a cooking showdown in Las Vegas on November 8 at the World Foods Championship. This will give him a chance to win $5,000 in cash and a makeover for his kitchen worth $15,000. In addition, the chef who wins the competition will have his or her recipe incorporated into the 2014 product line for U.S. Foods.

Chef Maurelli, who was born in the Republic of Panama, came to Alabama in the 1990s. His cooking style uses ingredients from local farmers and cheese makers, artisans, and beer makers. He was awarded Chef of the Year in 2011 from the Alabama Hospitality Association and the Alabama Restaurant Association, and will now be hoping to build on this.

The World Food Championships is a four-day, $300,000 competition considered by many to be the greatest food competition in the world. It showcases the best culinary masters in the world in seven categories: barbeque, chili, burgers, sandwiches, dessert, bacon and overall recipe.