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3:08 PM Mon, Nov. 12th

Chefs compete, practice for Culinary Olympics

It's not exactly Kitchen Stadium, but they are practicing for the Culinary Olympics.

Chefs from throughout Arizona will compete Sunday for accreditation points and medals in the 6th annual American Culinary Federation Culinary Salon and Chefs Competition at the Lariat Food and Spirits Restaurant at the Quality Inn on Highway 69.

At least 15 chefs from around the state were signed up last week for the one-of-a-kind competition in Arizona.

Starting at 6 a.m., chefs have a short time to set up their display before the judging by master chefs.

The public is welcome for viewing at no charge at 11:30 a.m., when the winners will receive their awards.

Master chefs will judge entries in the categories of Patisserie Confectionary, Showpiece Professional, and Decorative Centerpiece.

A few of the chefs are also entering to practice for the Culinary Olympics later this year, according to local coordinator Tom Farley, pastry chef for Sweettart on Cortez.

"Chef Liebel, one of the judges, is actually the coach for the Olympic team that's going to be in Germany," Farley said.

Through the competition, chefs earn points for accreditation to advanced professional levels like executive or master chef.

"I think it boils down more to the camaraderie of the chefs within each community. That's more of what I've seen," Farley said. "There's more of that going on than just going out and competing. It's kind of a rare breed that actually goes out and does the competitions."