The University of Arkansas – Pulaski Tech Foundation is gearing up for its 11th year of fierce food competition. Diamond Chef Arkansas 2018 is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 19 at the UA – Pulaski Tech Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute.
Individual tickets cost $150. Sponsorships start at $2,500. For more information or to buy tickets, click here. Read on to meet two of this year’s competitors. Click here to read about more of the chefs.
Chef Jordan Davis of the Chenal Country Club in Little Rock says his path to becoming a chef has been a long, winding road. Davis was born in Texarkana, Texas, but made his way to Little Rock at the age of three. Starting off as a dishwasher at the Chenal Country Club, Davis steadily worked his way up the ranks. Every day at work is unique, and he says he enjoys having almost 600 bosses. From large weddings to intimate five-course wine dinners, the Chenal Country Club never lacks variety. Davis says proceeds from Diamond Chef will benefit UA – Pulaski Technical College, which is a fantastic reason to attend the event. “When I was enrolled at Pulaski Technical College, the sous chef I am bringing to the competition, Patrick Carter, and I cooked in a narrow hallway. Diamond Chef has been a key part of making the culinary school what it is today,” he says.
Chef Jamie McAfee of the Pine Bluff Country Club is originally from McGehee. McAfee is a second generation chef, and said the way he was raised inspired him to go down this career path. The Pine Bluff Country Club consistently provides quality cuisine, he says, and they’re always ready and willing to explore the boundaries of the culinary world. Roasted peanuts in the shell and V8 juice over ice is McAfee’s go-to snack, and he enjoys golfing in his free time. McAfee says people should attend the Diamond Chef event to see some of the best chefs from around the state come together and cook in one place.
Related: Meet the Diamond Chef Contestants Part 1 »