In the free, public event at the Swain Student Activities Center (Multipurpose Room), each chef will receive a basket of ingredients and be challenged to prepare three dishes, including at least one vegan item. A panel of judges and audience votes will determine the winners.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., the program starts at 6 p.m., and winners will be announced at 7:45 p.m. Participating chefs are:

  • Laurent Geroli, The Brown Hotel
  • Dallas McGarity, Marketplace Restaurant in Theater Square
  • Mary Wheatley, Cook With Mary and Winston’s Restaurant

Event co-hosts are Kevin Nelson, chef for Wayside Christian Mission’s Hotel Louisville, and Chef K Nelson from the “Down and Out with Chef K TV Show” and Queen of Sheba restaurant.

Melissa Ingram, chef for UofL’s Sodexo Dining Services, will select the ingredients for the competition. Local foods will be included. Ingram and her staff also will prepare dishes to be shared with the audience. Some of the competitors’ dishes will be offered in UofL’s Ville Grill in the weeks following the cook-off.

Advance tickets are recommended but not required. Attendees who sign up online can be entered in a drawing to be on the judging panel. Sign up or learn more. Free parking is available in lots near the Student Activities Center on Belknap Campus.

The cook-off is sponsored by UofL’s Student Activity Board, Health Promotion Office and Sodexo Dining Services. The program is part of Body Awareness/Body Appreciation Week, a Feb. 14–28 series of events and programs that promote health, critical thinking and a positive body image.

Cindy Hess
Cindy Hess has more than 30 years of experience in communications, marketing and investor relations, including more than a decade at UofL. She is "sort of" retired but happy to come back to the Office of Communications and Marketing to help with special projects and assignments.