Augusta's own Philippe Chin will represent the city Saturday when he goes head to head with Atlanta chef Tom Catherall at Simon Super Chefs Live!, a culinary face-off at Atlanta's Lenox Square.
Mr. Chin, the head chef for Bambu on Hickman, and Mr. Catherall, of Atlanta's Here To Serve restaurants, will cook up dishes live for audiences using a medley of mystery ingredients in a format similar to the Food Network's Ready ... Set ...Cook! show.
The mystery ingredients, less than $10 worth, can be combined with common kitchen staples. Dishes will be judged based on presentation and creativity and by what the audience imagines they taste like.
Mr. Chin said he is excited to show Atlanta denizens the kind of cooking talent Augusta has to offer.
"They give you some standard ingredients like flour, garlic, tomatoes; basically stuff you'd normally have in your pantry," he said.
"But I can also have dark chocolate, flounder filet and a banana, or zucchini, spinach, a tomato and a chicken breast."
Saturday's event, which will include TV personality Bill Boggs and Food Network host Alton Brown, is not Mr. Chin's first appearance in a cook-off. He has appeared on Ready ... Set ... Cook! and has made other live appearances. Despite having worked in a live atmosphere, Mr. Chin said cooking in a mall environment can be very different from a TV studio or a restaurant.
"It should be fun; it's basically entertaining people. It's tough, though, because you're creating two or three dishes in 30 minutes, and sometimes the conditions aren't that good," he said. "The last time I was in Philly, they told me not to run the water in the sink for too long, because it was only going into a bucket on the other end."
Challenges he has faced in similar shows include working with a squash that normally takes two hours to cook and having to crack open a raw coconut without the proper tools.
"That's part of the game; the audience might think, 'Gee what would I do with those ingredients in that kind of situation?'" he said.
"It's entertainment, but it doesn't take away what you do; you're here to create a great meal."
If You Go:
What: Simon Super Chefs Live!
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lenox Square, 3393 Peachtree Road, Atlanta
Information: (404) 233-6767
Reach Patrick Verel at (706) 823-3332 or firstname.lastname@example.org.