Choose the Top Chef of the Culinary Coast

June 10, 2014

It’s all about fun, food, friendly competition and feeding Sussex County seniors this coming Thursday, June 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. Local on the Menu and Meals on Wheels Lewes/Rehoboth are proud to present the first annual Top Chef of the Culinary Coast - a gala competition that will not leave you hungry! Ten of the best local chefs will cook and compete for your vote, with the proceeds going to Meals on Wheels Lewes/Rehoboth’s continuing efforts to feed even more of our deserving Sussex County seniors.

Armed with their wire whisks and spatulas, the chefs who have stepped up to the plate include Kevin Reading (founder of Espuma and Nage, and now Abbott’s Grill in Milford and in Laurel); Bramble and Brine’s chef/owner Joey Churchman; Gretchen Hanson, chef/owner of Hobos; Ronnie Burkle and Maurice Catlett from Northeast Seafood Kitchen and Fish On!; Paul Gallo from Nage, and Ciro Verdi competing for Touch of Italy. Mark Buchanan from Ed & Lynn Lester’s Brick Hotel, Salt Air’s Matt Kern, and Rehoboth Beach Country Club’s Robert Iannacconi are also battling for your vote.

But this star-studded lineup isn’t just aiming for Top Chef. You will also be voting for the Food You Couldn’t Live Without, the Most Creative Chef, the Best Reinvention of a Delmarva Tradition, and of course, the Sexiest Food.

Meals on Wheels has always been a favorite cause for all of our local chefs, restaurants, farmers, ranchers and food suppliers, and along with many other contributors they take our Sussex County seniors very seriously. To that end, Local on the Menu member producers and select sponsors have stepped up to the plate to make this happen. Delaware Distilling Company and 16 Mile Brewery will exchange your drink tickets for delicious libations, while the Cape Gazette, U.S. Foods, Delmarva Public Radio, WBOC Television, Southern Delaware Tourism and work together to make this a premiere culinary event in Sussex County.

Of course, without farms, ranches and food suppliers, there wouldn’t be anything to cook! So the event features Sussex County-sourced ingredients from our very own Lavender Fields Farm, Touch of Italy Bakery, Big Fish Seafood Wholesalers, Zitvogel Farms, Pure Harvest Farm, Evans Farms, Good Earth Market, Swallow Acres Farm, the Naked Farmer, Williamsville Farms and Baxter Farms. As an added attraction, Hopkins Farm Creamery and The Point Coffee House and Bake Shoppe will be whipping up exclusive tastes just for this event!

Former Bad Company rocker Paul Cullen and the multitalented Viki Dee will provide continuous music during the event. As you might suspect, any competition of this magnitude requires a huge amount of behind-the-scenes effort, and local benefactors such as Sign-A-Rama, KC Home Improvement, Red Sun Custom Apparel, Rehoboth Beach Main Street, John Wolfle, Edwin Krumm and event co-chair Lana O’Hollaren are all anxious to welcome you to one of the few events where you get to decide who wins!

Tickets are $45 per person (over 21 only). Pick up your tickets from the Cape Gazette offices in Nassau Commons, the Meals On Wheels office in Lewes, or at Rehoboth Beach Main Street adjacent to the Convention Center. Better yet, save the wear and tear on your tootsies by simply going online to So join me and all the other sponsors, chefs, restaurants, producers and benefactors at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center this coming Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. for a scrumptious battle to benefit a worthy cause. Who will win? You decide!

  • So many restaurants, so little time! Food writer Bob Yesbek gives readers a sneak peek behind the scenes, exposing the inner workings of the local culinary industry, from the farm to the table and everything in between. He can be reached at

    Masthead photo by Grant Gursky. Used with permission from Coastal Style Magazine.

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