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Oklahoma City Chef takes first in statewide Cook-off

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OKLAHOMA – An Oklahoma Chef didn’t crack in a heated competition.

Chef Chris McCabe of a Good Egg Dining Group in Oklahoma City took first place in the 18th annual Culinary Cook Off at the Oklahoma Restaurant Convention & Expo on August 28, 2014.

McCabe had 60 minutes to prepare a meal using a mystery basket of fish, including Madai Japanese sea bream, New Zeland tarakihi, and Norwegian Female Capelin. His final presentation earned him a $3,000 cash prize, a trophy, and gift certificates.

He was assisted by Maria Jones, a Culinary Arts student at the Culinary Institute of Platt College, who earned a $500 cash prize, a medal, and gift certificates.

McCabe competed against 11 other Oklahoma chefs in the annual cook-Off, an Iron Chef-style competition in which the most talented chefs in the state race the clock to create dazzling dishes using a mystery basket of ingredients. The competitors participate in various heats until the contest is narrowed down to the last two chefs.

McCabe’s competitor in the final round was Chef Jimmy Tillman of Devon-Guckenheimer in Oklahoma City. Tillman’s second place spot earned him $1,500, a trophy and gift certificates, and his student assistant Darrin Hood, also of The Culinary Institute of Platt College, won a $250 cash prize, a medal, and gift certificates. Chef Ian Wagner of SNU Dining in Bethany placed third and took home a cash prize of $750, a trophy, and gift certificates; Wagner’s student assistant Tarrah Admire of Oklahoma State University earned $125, a medal, and gift certificates. New this year was the addition of a fourth place award, which went to Chef Kenneth Hardiman of Whiskey Cake and his assistant Christina Christ of The Culinary Institute of Platt College, who took home $325 and $62.50, respectively.