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Wild, Wonderful West Virginia announces search for next generation of talented chefs

Nominations sought for Rising Star Chefs to compete in the 2016 Cast Iron Cook-Off®

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Wild, Wonderful West Virginia on July 28 encouraged individuals to nominate Rising Star Chefs to compete in next year’s Cast Iron Cook-Off, Feb. 6, 2016 in Charleston, West Virginia. Individuals whose nominations are selected as one of the six competitors will receive a complimentary ticket for the event dinner, valued at $75.

“Wild, Wonderful West Virginia is known for its real mountain flavor,” Commissioner of Tourism Amy Shuler Goodwin said. “From comfort food to international fare, we have talented chefs bringing authentic culinary experiences to tables throughout the state.”

For more than 10 years, the Cast Iron Cook-Off has grown to become the region’s premier gourmet culinary competition. Teams, led by local chefs, incorporate locally grown ingredients to re-interpret and prepare traditional recipes in cast iron cookware. Historically, the Cast Iron Cook-Off has recruited prominent members of the culinary community to lead the teams – matching them against other accomplished chefs from West Virginia and neighboring states. The 2016 competition aims to shift the focus to emerging culinary talent – Rising Star Chefs who have three years or less as an executive chef or restaurant owner.

The growing interest in locally sourced ingredients and farm-to-table restaurants has helped spur massive growth in West Virginia’s culinary landscape. Vibrant restaurants, steered by top tier chefs and supplied by a wealth of farms and farmers markets, have made West Virginia a destination for foodies from across the country. As the culinary community continues to grow and change, events such as the Cast Iron Cook-Off provide opportunities for emerging talent to receive professional feedback, introduce new ideas and collaborate with their contemporaries.

To nominate a chef, visit

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