2018 Competitors

Candy Murphy

Figs & Pigs 

New to the food industry, but not new to developing great flavors. Candy spent 20+ years in the high tech industry, and then decided to follow her passion for food and entertaining. Read more here.

Michael Arrastia

The Hangover Pub & Broth

Husband to Ashley Arrastia and father of Logan and Hazel Arrastia, Chef Michael Arrastia was born in Southbridge, MA. He worked in the Sturbridge area until he got his first chef position at Allora in Marlborough. Read more here.

Christopher O'Harra

The Flying Rhino Cafe

Executive Chef Christopher O’Harra began his career washing dishes at the age of 14 years old for a small delicatessen and butchery in his home town of Grafton, MA. Read more here.

Jared Forman


Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY as a diehard Mets fan, Chef Jared Forman's earliest memories of food was the diversity the city had to offer. Read more here.

Robin Clark

Deadhorse Hill

Born and raised in western Mass, Chef Robin Clark didn't always envision a culinary career. After a year and a half of studying to become a brain surgeon, she turned to her real love: food. Read more here.

Donnie Altiery Jr.

44 Catering

Chef Donnie Altiery Jr. knew he wanted to be a chef since the first time he heard Emeril Lagasse say, "bam." Read more here.

Bill Bourbeau


After starting his culinary career at 15 in a pizza shop, who would have thought that 20 years later that Chef Bill Borbeau's career would bloom at one of Worcester’s premier pizza spots! Read more here.

Rick Araujo

Civic Kitchen & Drink 

Since opening Civic Kitchen & Drink a little over 18 months ago, Chef Rick Araujo is just scratching the surface of what customers can expect from local food. Read more here.

Kenny Smith


Chef Kenny Smith didn't decide that he wanted to cook professionally until he had decided on what he didn't want to do. Read more here.

Josh Brown

Prezo Grille & Bar

Chef Joshua Brown is a native of Natick, MA and brings over 20 years cooking experience to the Prezo Grill & Bar. Read more here.

Kris Sellers

Five Loaves Bakery & Cafe

Chef Kristopher Sellers may have ‘started’ his career at age 14 in a Connecticut diner, but his love of food began much earlier, shuffling between his southern roots in the low country of Charleston, SC and his northern Italian/Jewish family in New England. Read more here.

Joao Neto

Tomasso Trattoria

Worcester resident Joao Neto is the chef de cuisine who runs the kitchen day-to-day at Tomasso Trattoria & Enoteca. Read more here.

Kenneth O'Keefe

Publick House

Chef Kenneth O'Keefe started as a dishwasher at 12 years old in New Hampshire. Read more here.

Elliot Williams

110 Grill

Chef Elliot Williams joined 110 Grill in November of 2016 as the Director of Culinary. Read more here.

John Pollard

Amaia Martini Bar

Fascinated at an early age with cooking, Chef John Pollard was always under his grandmothers feet in the kitchen. Read more here.

Jon Paradise

Beechwood Hotel

Chef Jonathon Paradise began his culinary journey in 1998 after serving in the United States Army. Read more here.

Shane Anderson

Eller's Restaurant

Chef Shane Anderson has a beautiful wife Suzanne Anderson and a beautiful daughter. Lillian Anderson. Read more here.

Buddy Bartlett

Depot St. Tavern

Chef Buddy Bartlett started washing dishes in his home town at the age of 14 in a local breakfast restaurant. Read more here.

Brian Treitman

BT's Smokehouse

Chef Brian Treitman, owner of B.T.’s Smokehouse, has been cooking in professional kitchens for 23 years. Read more here.

Kim Haslam

Maddi's Cookery & Taphouse

Chef Kimberly Haslam has had a passion for cooking since 1996. Her love took her to Blackstone Valley Tech in Upton, and then on to Johnson & Wales in Providence. Read more here.