CHEF, the Culinary & Hospitality Education Foundation of Southwest Florida, has ignited the flames for an exciting Virtual CHEF Showdown competition and Auction online March 22 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at www.event.gives/chef. Supporters will need to register an account in advance to receive access to stream the cooking competition between Collier County’s Chef Jason Goddard and Lee County’s Chef Gloria Jordan. Each Chef prepared a WOW appetizer dish in thirty-minutes using Mystery Basket ingredients from Sails Restaurant and fresh pantry items from Luminary Hotel & Co. A distinguished panel of judges rated the dishes and results have been locked away. You’ll need to tune in to www.event.gives/chef on March 22 to find out who wins. The Virtual CHEF Showdown competition is the main ingredient surrounding Live Auction Lots featuring culinary travel, food and wine experiences to raise funds for scholarships for Collier and Lee County students pursuing careers in the culinary arts and hospitality industries.

CHEF announced four local restaurant and catering partners who will offer special CHEF-inspired events, and menus for takeout or dine-in on March 22. Supporters can enjoy fine food and wine in the comfort of their own homes while streaming the online Showdown & Auction. If making a reservation to dine-in, customers are invited to bring their personal iPad to the restaurant to tune in at their table. The local partners include: Crave Companies’ Crave2Go catering; La Trattoria Café Napoli; Sea Salt; and 21 Spices by Chef Asif. For menus, pre-ordering and reservation instructions, visit https://chefswfl.org/2021-virtual-chef-showdown-menus/. Details for the Wine Tasting, Tapas & Watch Party at La Trattoria Café Napoli on March 22 will be added to the website soon.

Live Auction Lots will be presented on March 22 by 2021 CHEF Showdown co-host Gina Birch, a popular food & beverage writer and media personality in Southwest Florida, and professional Auctioneer Scott Robertson of SRA. These special travel, food and wine experiences are described at www.event.gives/chef/items. Special thanks to donors: Sea Salt; 21 Spices by Chef Asif and Crave Companies; Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, and Harold’s Restaurant; Luminary Hotel & Co., Blanc, LYNQ, and Pure Fort Myers Cruises; and Bleu Provence. There are two amazing villa stays in Tuscany and Antigua too, WITH NO EXPIRATION DATE.