The three-time winner battles local chefs Adam White and Clare Cranford for title of TOP CHEF

The sixth annual Wellness Kitchen Top Chef Competition and Fundraiser returns to the Idler’s Home demonstration kitchen in Paso Robles on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 5 to 9 p.m. after the past 2 years at the Estrella Warbirds Museum.

Top Chef Alex

Alex Martin — owner of Crush Catering, and three-time champion of Wellnes Kitchen’s Top Chef.

Chef Alex Martin is back to defend his 3-time title against 2-time winner Adam White, and newcomer Clare Cranford. Alex Martin, owner/chef of Crush Catering, won the first three Top Chef events, and recently opened his commercial kitchen in Atascadero.

Adam headshot

Adam White — Director of Food Service at the Paso Robles Culinary Arts Academy, and two-time Wellness Kitchen Top Chef.

Consistent with the commitment of Founder and Executive Director Nancy Walker to educate teens in culinary skills, three “teen sous chefs” will be assisting each competing chef.

The panel of judges include Lori Foster, owner of Spice of Life, Mike Lane, COO at Twin Cities Community Hospital and local businessman Kevin Kuhn. The fourth judge will be the lucky winner of a raffle!

Chef Philip Riccomini is the Master of Ceremonies; quite fitting since Chef Philip recently retired from the Culinary Arts Academy and taught two of the competing chefs in high school.

Clare Cranford

Clare Cranford — graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Florida and volunteers at The Wellness Kitchen.

Major sponsors include Twin Cities Community Hospital, Idler’s Home and Coastal Radiation Oncology-21st Century Oncology Affiliate. Other sponsors (at press time) include Rancho Azul y Oro for the Secret Pantry and Pacific Premier Bank for the Main Dish Secret Basket. Pasolivo is providing their premium olive oil to be used exclusively by the chefs in the competition.

With the music of Wine Country Troubadours setting the mood, Fig at Courtney’s House will provide a delightful selection of tapas to pair with wine tasting from Pianetta Winery, Ecluse Wines, Asuncion Ridge Vineyards, Jack Creek Cellars and other local wineries.

Auction items include a VIP tour in the Cass Winery Old School Limo with tasting and lunch for four, getaways at Orchard Hill B& B, San Luis Creek Inn, Cambria Pines Lodge, La Quinta Inn, a wine tour and cottage stay at Wine Country RV and Holiday Inn Express. Dinners include restaurants Paso Terra, Mistura, McPhee’s Grill and Korbel on Blue. Special items include massages with Clare Cranford, spa & golf package from River Oaks, private portrait session with Dina Mande and a private cooking class for 6 at Refugio with Bridget Binns.

The funds raised by the event support the Pay It Forward Healing Foods program that provides meals to those going through critical illness, disease and surgery recovery along with the expansion of educational programs and support services. TOP CHEF will be a sell-out!  Seating is limited. Tickets are available at www.thewkrc.org or at The Wellness Kitchen, 1255 Las Tablas Road in Templeton.