The event has been described as a cross between Food Network’s Chopped and Bravo’s Top Chef. There are three phases to the Battle: appetizer, entrée, and dessert.  There will be a panel of three expert judges:

  • Brendan Walsh, Dean from The Culinary Institute of America
  • Amy Kundrat, CT Bites
  • Erik Ofgang, Author and Senior Writer, Connecticut Magazine


Here’s how the Battle works:

Appetizer: Each duo will prepare an appetizer that must incorporate a required ingredient. Guests will be focused on tasting each appetizer and will then vote for their favorite.  The judges will also taste the appetizers and select their favorite. This portion takes place inside and will feature tasting stations and passed appetizers.

Entrée: Next, we move outdoors. During this phase, the chef teams will be cooking al fresco in individual outdoor kitchens while guests watch all the action!  Each duo will be given a basket of four secret ingredients and will have 60 minutes to complete a cohesive entrée featuring all four ingredients. They will also have access to a well-stocked fridge and pantry.  Completed entrées will be presented to the judges.

Dessert: Last, guests will move back indoors to enjoy desserts prepared by the chef teams.

Judging: Over dessert and refreshments, guests will hear comments from the panel of judges and the results will be announced. A total of 80 points can awarded to each team in the categories of taste, presentation and the use of the secret ingredients. One third of the final scores comes from the appetizer round and two thirds from the entrée round.  

Throughout the event, guests will have access to an open bar and will be served a plethora of passed savory and sweet eats – many of which include the secret ingredients from both the appetizer and entrée rounds of the competition. Local vendors will be offering food/drink samples to guests and there will be live music for all to enjoy.


General Admission: $100; Chef's Table: $500 (limited number available). Your ticket purchase will benefit Founders Hall, a donor-supported education and recreation center that offers life-long learning, fitness and fun to people age 60 and older.

Order tickets on this website or by calling Founders Hall at (203) 431-7000.