Good People, Good Food, and Good Things for our Community

Updated: May 29, 2019

Last month, I was lucky to attend the Vero's Top Chef Challenge Finale. What an amazing event! Four local chefs each prepared a special entree: Alfredo Arce from Costa d'Este, Chuck Arnold from Fire & Wine, Travis Beckett from Wild Thyme Catering, and Eddie Hunter from Cuisine Machine.

Wow! That's four outstanding chefs and entrees to choose from, isn't it? Judging was done by both a judging committee and the attendees (like me!). While we were faced with the impossible dilemma of selecting our favorites, there was also a silent auction going on around us. Local businesses donated their products and Garden of Esther offered up several packages of our fresh pasta Vero Beach Foodie went all out to orchestrate this showcase of local talents.

But we weren't there just to kick up our heels and graze our way around the room. All of the proceeds went to another local organization: The Hope for Families Center. Not all of our Vero Beach neighbors are as lucky as we are and Hope for Families empowers the less fortunate and helps them get back on their own two feet.

Events like this are a win for everybody - local businesses have a moment in the spotlight, the local food movement expands its outreach, and a deserving local charity receives our support. We slept well that night - full bellies and warm hearts.

Travis Beckett's Authentic Japanese Ramen with Sesame and Soy Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Alfredo Arce's Pan Roasted Red Snapper, Rock Shrimp, Truffle Butter, Parsnip Puree, Parsnip Crisps

Eddie Hunter's Oven Roasted Crazy Hart Ranch Chicken, Coconut Rice and Peas, Curry Veloute, Purple Bok Choy Slaw, Nordic Acres Farm Daikon Micro Greens

Chuck Arnold's Red Wine Braised Beef Shortrib with Smoked Honey Truffle Glazed Butternut Squash Puree, Roasted Cipollini Onion and Baby Carrot

The lucky judges!

With Thomas Miller of Vero Beach Foodie

Our contribution to the silent auction

We stumbled upon ourselves weeks later in the local newspaper's coverage of the event!

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To learn more about Esther's journey to the world of fresh from the garden pasta, read here.

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