TOP Chef Competition 2015This must attend event is happening on Saturday May 2nd and will be held at the Shrimp Park again this year. If you don’t already know, that is the large park at the corner of Fremont Blvd. (City Hall) and Benito Juarez Blvd. (main Blvd.) – the park with the big shrimp statue (hey, that’s an oxymoron). This year promises to be even bigger and better than last year when over 2,000 people showed up to enjoy the atmosphere, sample the many foods, browse the various artist and vendor stalls, and watch the competition between some of Rocky Point’s very best chefs.

In a chat with local businesswoman, radio talk-show host, and event coordinator, Rosie Glover, one of the first questions I asked was if the name had “officially” been changed from Iron Chef Competition to Taste of Peñasco (TOP) Chef Competition. Rosy laughed and told me that it had never been called Iron Chef and she doesn’t even know where the name came from, let alone how it became so well used when referring to the event. That was a surprise to me as I have heard it referred to as Iron Chef many times and I had assumed that the name was changed somewhere along the line.

Actually, the Taste of Peñasco and the TOP Chef Competition are two events in one. The first, Taste of Peñasco, is a carnival-like gathering of artists, craftspeople, merchandise vendors and, of course, as the name implies, food – lots of food. The second part, the TOP Chef Competition is a part of, yet separate, portion of the celebration. As Rosie puts it “So many people are amazed and impressed by the variety and quality of the food available to us in a city of our size” – this event is foremost about food and fun.

This will be the eighth year of the event (although one year the event was held without the TOP Chef competition due to some last minute complications), and all moneys collected will go towards three very worthy cause: The Hemodialysis Center, The Santa Clause Club, and The Local Firefighters. Each of these causes is very important to the less fortunate of our city and they need your help. Knowing that your fun afternoon will be helping such noble causes should make your decision to attend, buy some raffle tickets, and enjoy a very fun afternoon, even easier. A raffle will be held for a chance to win some great prizes donated by local businesses. Some notable donations each year come from the Phoenix Suns, KVOI Radio in Tucson, and Rocky Point resident, Dr. Doug Allen. Two years ago, frequent Rocky Point visitors Joe and Greg won a great motorcycle, and with their great “pay it forward” attitude, they sold the motorcycle and donated all of the proceeds to the hemodialysis center – an act of true Good Samaritans.

There will also be a second raffle to determine the winner of a very special honor allowing one very lucky person to win the privilege of joining the panel of expert judges evaluating the treasures being created by our talented chefs. This is quite an honor, and you can’t win if you don’t play, so buy some raffle tickets. Should you win the honor of joining the 4 other, highly qualified food experts in grading and selecting this year’s Top Chef, you will pick a winner based on three categories: presentation, taste, and creative use of the “secret” ingredient. There can be only one winner and your vote will help determine which chef will take the reins from our current champion, and last year’s TOP Chef Winner, Rene Acosta from Don Julio’s Restaurant.

Chefs have been signing up and the list should be complete sometime in the near future, but it isn’t too late if you want to urge your favorite local chef to join in. Participants in the competition will have 15 minutes to prepare an appetizer, 30 minutes to prepare an entrée, and 15 minutes to prepare a desert. There is also a catch. Each year a “secret” ingredient is presented at the moment the contest commences. The chefs will need to incorporate this surprise ingredient into their presentations and one of the categories for consideration is how well they can incorporate the ingredient into their creations. Past years have revealed asparagus, artichokes, and even coffee as the secret ingredient so what it will be this year is anyone’s guess.

Raffle tickets are $5.00 each or 6 for $20.00 and can be purchased at the event or from:

Rosie Glover

(602) 773-1031

John Fowler

(602) 840-1528

Food vendors, artisans, and other vendors are encouraged to contact Rosie for more information. The event will continue until at least 5:00 p.m. but last year the food started running low by early afternoon so you may want to get there early. Please add this fun event to your calendar. See you there.

This article is brought to you by the Sonoran Resorts Sales Group,, Jim Ringquist, Director of Sales and Marketing.