Nominations sought for ‘Rising Star Chefs’ to compete in 2016 Cast Iron Cook-Off

From staff report

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Who are the most talented chefs providing authentic culinary experiences in West Virginia?

Wild, Wonderful West Virginia wants to know and is encouraged individuals to nominate these “Rising Star Chefs.” To nominate a chef, visit

“Wild, Wonderful West Virginia is known for its real mountain flavor,” Commissioner of Tourism Amy Shuler Goodwin said. “From comfort food to international fare, we have talented chefs bringing authentic culinary experiences to tables throughout the state.”

Individuals whose nominations are selected as one of the six “Rising Star Chefs” will compete in next year’s Cast Iron Cook-Off, Feb. 6, 2016, in Charleston. Competitors will receive a complimentary ticket for the event dinner, valued at $75.

“For more than 10 years, the Cast Iron Cook-Off has grown to become the region’s premier gourmet culinary competition. Teams, led by local chefs, incorporate locally grown ingredients to re-interpret and prepare traditional recipes in cast iron cookware. Historically, the Cast Iron Cook-Off has recruited prominent members of the culinary community to lead the teams – matching them against other accomplished chefs from West Virginia and neighboring states. The 2016 competition aims to shift the focus to emerging culinary talent – Rising Star Chefs who have three years or less as an executive chef or restaurant owner,” organizers said.

Goodwin said the growing interest in locally sourced ingredients and farm-to-table restaurants has helped spur massive growth in West Virginia’s culinary landscape. “Vibrant restaurants, steered by top tier chefs and supplied by a wealth of farms and farmers markets, have made West Virginia a destination for foodies from across the country. As the culinary community continues to grow and change, events such as the Cast Iron Cook-Off provide opportunities for emerging talent to receive professional feedback, introduce new ideas and collaborate with their contemporaries.”

From staff report

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