Iron Chef Competition Helps Fight Hunger on Sept. 17

thumb_DSC_0650_1024 Three local chefs in the region will bring their culinary skills to market to compete in the Farmers Market of the Ozarks (FMO) 5th Annual Iron Chef Competition on Saturday, Sept. 17, at the market at Farmers Park. The competition will begin at 9:00 a.m., and the 2016 Iron Chef will be named at 12:30 p.m., in the plaza. All proceeds of the event are to support Ozarks Food Harvest (OFH) as part of the organization’s Hunger Action Month Campaign.

“The partnership between Ozarks Food Harvest and Farmers Market of the Ozarks has made a real impact on hunger in our community. Last year’s Iron Chef event provided 8,000 meals that will stay right here to help our neighbors in need. Not only is the event helping feed people, it’s also a lot of fun to attend. The chefs create incredible dishes that highlight food grown by local farmers,” said Christine Temple, communication coordinator at Ozarks Food Harvest.

Iron Chef for this year’s competition includes Chef Aaron Brooks, saucier with the Morris Conservation Center, Daniel Ernce with Progress and Vito Palmietto with Vito’s Kitchen. Chefs will be asked to prepare three dishes, which includes a side, main and dessert. All dishes will highlight a secret market ingredient revealed the day of market.  In addition, one protein will be provided to each chef to use in his or her main dish. All dishes will focus on using locally grown and produced products from FMO and chefs will offer samples of each dish created to the public. Customers will help in scoring the chefs through voting for their favorite chefs and dishes by dropping in monetary donations at each chef station in a provided donation jar. All money collected will be presented to Ozarks Food Harvest at the Iron Chef Awards Presentation at 12:30 p.m.

“Fresh fruits and vegetables are the most requested food items by many families served by OFH, and thanks to donations from local farmers and gardeners, local food is provided to these families, ” said Lane McConnell, FMO Executive Director. “The Iron Chef event will help to inspire locals to take action and raise awareness of the food insecurity in the Ozarks. Our participating chefs will be bringing everything they have to the table to raise funds for this great organization and to help feed our fellow neighbors in the Ozarks.”

Pepper Wars Contest
Also as part of the festivities this weekend, FMO will host the Pepper Wars Contest in conjunction with the Iron Chef Contest and will begin at 9:45 a.m., in the plaza. Assistant Springfield Fire Chief Randy Villines will participate in the Pepper Wars Contest. There will also be fire hydrants set-up at the Market Hub and PT Gardens booth in the pavilion for additional donations “hot spots” through the event that the community can pledge their support as well. Winner will receive a FMO Foodie Gift Basket valued at $200 and Trophy, sponsored by PT Gardens, Copper Colorists and Swan Creek Crafts, all FMO vendors.

For more information about the Iron Chef Competition or the Pepper Wars Contest go online to

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