Here’s a look at another one of our featured chefs who will be heating things up on market Sunday in hopes of taking home the trophy and, better yet, getting a ticket to participate in the 2018 World Food Championship scheduled of November 2018 in Orange Beach, Ala. Come back daily to see who our featured chef will be.
Contests like the ℹ FiveStar Food Fight give ℹ Tanner Marino, executive chef at ℹ The Chattanoogan, an opportunity to meet the community and “do what I love. It keeps my skills sharp,” he says. “Sometimes being an executive chef means you aren’t on a cutting board as much as you used to be. It’s nice to get back to the roots of what got me to where I am.”
Marino attended one year of culinary school, then took a job at Deveraux’s, a popular fine-dining establishment in Greenville, S.C., where he received more than five years of on-the-job training. Since then, he’s worked around the Carolinas, including the Hyatt Regency in Greenville and the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, N.C., rated as one of Forbe’s five-star hotels.
When he came on board at The Chattanoogan in early 2017, Marino, now 33, became the youngest executive chef in the hotel’s history.
Last year’s Food Fight was his first foray into competition cooking, and it hooked him.
“It was great getting to know the other chefs, utilize some great products at the market and work with awesome proteins from ℹ Springer Mountain Chicken. If I’m not too busy at the hotel, I’m always open for a good cooking competition.”
For last year’s contest, Marino took a familiar chicken dish _ popcorn chicken _ and actually used popcorn for the breading. “I like to take something simple and make it more interesting,” he says.
This year, though, he hopes to bring basil into play with whatever dish he creates. “I really enjoy cooking with it,” he says. “There are so many different varieties of it as well and the uses are endless. It’s great cooked in sauces, as well as enjoying it in its raw form. I’m sure I’ll find a way to work it into my dish. I’ve been on a peach-and-basil kick lately.”