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2020 Competitors

Michael Arrastia

The Hangover Pub

Born in Southbridge Massachusetts, Michael Arrastia rose to culinary fame when opening the award winning bacon gastropub, “The Hangover Pub” in Worcester, Massachusetts in 2016. Read more here. 

Al Maykel

Cohasse Country Club

With over two decades of culinary experience, Chef Maykel brings a dynamic and diverse element to the cuisine at Cohasse Country Club. His understanding and creative usage of flavors and specialty ingredients transforms the simplest ingredient into playful combinations that accommodate a wide variety of pallets. 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.

Kenneth O'Keefe

Publick House

Chef Kenneth O'Keefe was the 2018 Worcester's Best Chef overall Iron Chef winner. He started in the restaurant business when he was 12 as a dishwasher in New Hampshire. 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.

Drew Day

Flying Rhino Cafe & Watering Hole

Born in Fort Lewis, Washington, Chef Drew Day is the executive chef for the Flying Rhino and has been there for 5 years. Read more here.

Mike Wenc

deadhorse hill


For Mike Wenc, cooking was never part of the plan. Despite growing up in bucolic Western Massachusetts and frequent trips to the Vineyard where he’d hand-pick fresh bluefish and striped bass from the local markets to grill with his father, Mike never considered a career in restaurants, nor did he attend culinary school. Read more here.

Buddy Bartlett

Bushel n' Peck

Buddy Bartlett started washing dishes in his home town at the age of 14 in a local breakfast restaurant. From there, he worked his way up on the line in various other restaurants throughout high school. Read more here.

Eudemar Cavalcanti

Comeketo Brazilian Steakhouse

Chef Eudemar is From Curitiba, Brazil - with 25 + years of experience, Chef Eudemar has been worked in many roles in the kitchen. With a vast array of responsibilities, he has concord many accolades. Read more here.

Adam Hicks

Maddi's Cookery & Taphouse

Chef Adam Hicks, at the age of only 37, has 23 years of food service experience. Beginning at the age of 13 Adam worked in local restaurants as a bus boy and at age of 14, as a culinary student at Valley Tech in Upton, Adam began working at Oliva's Market in Milford where he worked for 10 years learning the value of producing made from scratch food using the best of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Read more here.

Keith Polaina

Samuel Slater's

Born and raised in Putnam, Connecticut, Executive Chef Keith Polaina's love for food and cooking started at a young age. At sixteen, he obtained his first job as a dish-washer but always found himself intrigued by the atmosphere of the kitchen line. Read more here.

Robin Clark

Bocado Tapas Wine Bar

Robin grew up in Western Massachusetts and didn't always want to be a chef. She went to college to become a brain surgeon but quickly turned to her true love - cooking. Read more here.

Elliott Williams

110 Grill

Chef Elliot Williams joined 110 Grill in November of 2016 as the Director of Culinary. 110 Grill features modern American cuisine in a trendy casual atmosphere and has locations in Massachusetts, New Hamsphire and New York. Read more here.

Hersson Villatoro

Villatoro Garden Cafe

Born in Guatemala and immigrated to the state at the age of 8 years old, Chef Villatoro has been in the food industry all his life from the young age of 10. Read more here.

Bobby Ryan

Peppers Artful Events

Bobby Ryan has been strongly passionate about food since a very young age. It wasn't until he got his first job in a restaurant in Northborough, MA that he realized it's potential as a career. Read more here.

Christopher Bairos

Horseshoe Pub

Hudson native Christopher A. Bairos is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont. He grew up in a traditional Portuguese family that placed importance on both fresh food and family. Read more here.

Jared Forman

Luci's Taco Shop and Margarita Bar

Born and raised in Brooklyn as a diehard Mets fan, Jared’s earliest memories of food was the diversity the city had to offer. From Sunday red sauce Italian dinners at home with the family, to Chinese, Thai, and Indian in Queens, to french and upscale restaurants in Manhattan, he couldn’t get enough of how varied the flavors and experiences were there. Read more here. 

Thomas Kepner

Rail Trail Flatbread Co.

Rail Trail Flatbread Co., Less Than Greater Than and New City Microcreamery Executive Chef Thomas Kepner has proven to be an unmatched creative force in the kitchen. Read more here.

Victor Cornejo

Flat Penny Bar & Grill

Born a chef, Victor Cornejo has been cooking from a very young age. Read more here.