Small Town Chef of the Year competition announced

WINSTON COUNTYAlabama Small Towns and Downtowns magazine has launched a statewide competition to crown Alabama’s Small Town Chef of the Year, in honor of the Alabama Department of Tourism proclaiming 2024 as the Year of Alabama Foods.
This competition is open to chefs or cooks operating in a brick-and-mortar, locally-owned restaurant open to the public at least 3 days a week with consistent hours of operation.
For the inaugural competition, the field is limited to chefs working in restaurants in small towns with a population of less than 40,000.
The competition will play out on social media, but this isn’t just a popularity contest on which chef can get the most likes. There will be dedicated judges for each round of the competition.
With three rounds of competition, scoring will be based off of the presentation of the dish, the taste of the dish decided by a statewide road trip with a qualified judging panel, and a “chef-showdown,” where the six finalists will be invited to a Chef Showdown at Auburn University's Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center. Scores from each round will be accumulated for each chef, with the top scorer being named Alabama's Small Town Chef of the Year  2025.
“We hope to bring excitement and recognition to the small-town chefs and restaurants that locals always brag about and tourists can’t miss when visiting our great state,” said co-owner Kelly Caldwell. “We are grateful for the support of our initial sponsors: Alabama Power Company, Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Alabama Black Belt Adventures, Auburn Opelika Tourism, and the Auburn University Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center.”
For information on eligibility or sponsorship opportunities, please contact
To learn more and enter, visit Deadline to enter the competition is July 1, 2024.


See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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