Tag Archives: Hunter Zampa

Top 10 Local Kids Compete @ Future Chef’s Cook Off w/ Tastings, Activities, and Raffles

27 May
Three of the winners cooking and baking in the kitchens of DiMare, Cafe Oo La La, and Casa villa

Three of the winners cooking and baking in the kitchens of DiMare, Cafe Oo La La, and Casa Villa

When you picture cooking competitions, who do you picture cooking up a storm?  Seasoned (pun intended) vets in the kitchen, talented chef/owners who own culinary empires, food truck operators, or CIA grads ready to make names for themselves?  How about a group of kids?  Well, that’s exactly what you’ll get when you head to the Future Chef’s Cook Off on June 8, 2014 from 12 to 3 at The Italian Center in Stamford.  Tickets are $35 online or $40 at the door, $10 online or $15 at the door for ages 7-18, and free for kids 6 and under.  Tickets get you in the door, get you tastings of all the food, and get you the happiness in knowing that you’ll be helping kids with cancer via Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Continue reading

Aarón Sánchez to Judge Future Chefs Cook Off Hosted by Hunter Zampa to Benefit Friend with Leukemia

19 Mar
Chef Hunter Zampa who competed on Rachael vs. Guy discusses the finer points of his killer venison chili

Hunter Zampa is the youngest Chopped Champion and competed in the show Rachael vs. Guy!

“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”
― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

Friends.  They gladly give of themselves to help you, support you, and get you through the hardest moments of your life.  That’s just what Hunter Zampa of Stamford (13) is doing with a fundraiser that he’s organized.  He wanted to help his schoolmate, Eli Schwartz, who was diagnosed with Leukemia.  So, using his skills in the kitchen and bringing together a team of culinary hopefuls, he created an event called Future Chefs Cook Off, being held at The Italian Center of Stamford.  While it’s still far away (6/8/14 from 12-3), Hunter’s on the lookout for some talented future chefs, high school age or younger.  Entries are due by midnight of April 8 and the Top 10 contestants will be posted on Hunter’s FB page on April 21.

Continue reading

Maple Sugar Weekend Returns to SM+NC with Teen Chefs Challenge, Food Trucks, + More!

25 Feb

Finally, it’s just about time for Maple Sugar Weekend at Stamford Museum & Nature Center!  A full weekend of sweet family and maple syrup-loaded fun on March 1 + 2 from 11-3 pm.  And, while many of the activities and events that you love are the same, there are some nice changes this year, too.

Seconds before this entire sandwich is devoured in a major omnomnom fest.

First up, you’ll be able to pick up some lunch and dinner at SM&NC just by stopping by for some grub at two food trucks on Saturday.  On hand will be the ooey gooey goodness of Melt Mobile and the classic American staples from Cowabunga!

Continue reading

CT’s Chowdafest 2014 Winners Announced and Event Recap

2 Feb

Um…wow.  This year’s Chowdafest was really more like Chowdabest.  Over 7,500 people (when we get the actual numbers, we’ll share) came through the doors to slurp down killer soups, chowders, and bisque.  Chowda Chairman, Jim Keenan, told us this week that the presales at Stop & Shop had already topped the attendance record from last year.  And, that doesn’t include the massive amounts of people waiting to get inside of Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, either.  Christian Burns, owner of Ginger Man Norwalk and Greenwich and Cask Republic in New Haven and Stamford told us that the line to enter stretched outside for a bit.  What an amazing turnout and what a great show of force to support not only the restaurants and sponsors participating, but to also raise some vital funds and donations for The Connecticut Food Bank.  

Continue reading

Hunter Zampa of Stamford Wins Chopped: Teen Talent

11 Dec

 

The Mystery Baskets were carefully chosen before Chopped:  Teen Talent aired.  If you had looked at the ingredients before the teenage contestants viewed them, you’d probably think there wasn’t much that tied them together. But, somehow, they had to find their way through three rounds of this classic culinary competition.  And, you better believe the talented youngsters were going to fight hard with a $40,000 scholarship to The International Culinary Schools at the Arts Institutes at stake.  What, just what, would you do with these ingredients?

Appetizer basket:  broccoli rabe, cherry flavored drink, swordfish, tiger figs

Entrée basket:  filet mignon, heirloom tomatoes, jarred black truffles, toaster pastries

Dessert basket:  cotton candy grapes, cream cheese, salt bagels, strawberry mints

Continue reading

Hunter Zampa from Stamford to Compete on Chopped: Teen Talent

13 Nov
Chef Hunter Zampa who competed on Rachael vs. Guy discusses the finer points of his killer venison chili

Chef Hunter Zampa who competed on Rachael vs. Guy discusses the finer points of his killer venison chili

Update:  how did Hunter Zampa do?  Find out here! 

Hunter Zampa might only be 13, but this Stamford resident has fit a lot of cooking into those years.  He recently created an excellent venison chili for the Stamford Chili Cook-off and also competed in another contest.  This one, though, was a bit bigger:  Rachael vs. Guy:  Kids Cook-off.  Hunter performed very well, cooking his way to the top three of the finale.  

Well, you can’t keep a good chef down!  He’ll be back for more, competing this time on Chopped:  Teen Talent edition.  His episode airs on 12/10 at 10 pm and will pit Hunter against three other youngsters hungry for the $40,000 scholarship.

Continue reading

Biggest Turn Out EVER @ Stamford Chili Cook-off!

5 Nov

Please check our Facebook Page for a photo gallery.

What makes up a great chili?  Beans, peppers, onions, spices, veggies, beef, or even venison?  Sure, we all have our likes and dislikes in this perfect fall and winter dish, but at the Sixth Annual Stamford Chili Cook-off, over 300 hungry visitors had the final say.

Held on Sunday, 11/3, the Stamford Chili Cook-off had bigger digs, usually held at the Stamford Unitarian Universalist Church.  This year it was part of the Touch a Truck event at Stamford Museum & Nature Center.  Organized by Joe Gonzalez, the contest was an amazing hit, bringing people in from all over to vote in their favorite chili.  By the end of the day, there were hundreds of votes and lots of money raised for the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.  We’re talking about just around $1,700 raised as well as countless bags of groceries to help feed the hungry.

The competition was definitely heated (except for Joey Kuntz’s dessert chili which was served up cold), but all the contestants went around, talked with each other, and tasted each other’s chili.  This was a great event and there was some awesome chili.  We look forward to the 7th Annual Chili Cook-off next year…and so should you!

Here are the winners:

1st: The Benzaken’s “Three Bird Chili” – (Alain and daughters Casey and Jordan)
2nd: Wakeman Town Farm –Chipotle Veggie Chili with Cornbread
3rd: Rama Kumanduri and Cristina Romero –”Chili con Pasion”

And here is the description of each chili:

A) The Benzakens – “Three Bird Chili” – Inspired by the Thanksgiving season, former champs Casey and Jordan have created a special chili that includes smoked duck, chicken and turkey. A spicy blend that includes chipotle peppers and white beans, this chili will make your senses soar high, even though none of these birds can actually fly. Well…maybe the ducks. In any case, stop by our table and enjoy our unique chili!

B) Joe Kuntz – From the “transplanted Texan gone crazy”, we have a Vegetarian dessert chili! No meat, some sweet, and some heat! Served on corn tortillas.

C) Brian Cronin – “24 Hour East River Couch Chili” – The East River has often been referred to by the NYC Police and Fire Rescue teams as “Deep, Dark and Dangerous”. I just added Delicious to that identity, and you now have my chili! Simmered for a minimum of 24 hours with no less than 16 ingredients. Fresh white corn and a secret smoke component are the standouts in this Deep, Dark, Dangerous and Delicious three meat batch. Brother Sean has concocted his rich cornbread to accompany this tummy bath to soothe any heat that may linger too long.

D) Wakeman Town Farm – “Chipotle Veggie Chili With Cornbread” – This chili is made from organic vegetables harvested from Wakeman Town Farm in Westport as well as Sport Hill Farm in Easton and several other Fairfield County farms. Made with an all vegetable stock, homemade smoked jalapeno, organic veggies and topped with a cilantro cornbread. It will have a mildly smoky flavor with a slight spicy kick. Our recipe will be available to take home!

E) Robin Skidmore – “Mighty Bruin Tex-Mex” – Take a walk on the “Wild Side” with this rare chance to try wild bear – a rich red meat much like beef, all flavor, no gamey edge. You’ll be amazed how delicious it is! But while bear is the heart of this chili, the Mexican spices are its soul. Hot peppers are paired off with fresh cilantro and Mexican oregano for a flavorful slow burn that will have your taste buds begging for another spoonful!

F) Bill and Jean Marie Warncke – “Buffalo Bill’s Southwest GRILLED Chili” – This year we have a new take on a chili cook-off classic! Buffalo Bill has taken his formula of savory meats, peppers and spices to the next level by incorporating grilled ingredients sure to win over even the toughest chili judge! A little bit of smoky-ness, a little bit of heat and a lot of flavor is packed into every bite!

G) Chef Hunter Zampa (competed on Rachael vs. Guy) – Venison Chili with a unique twist of Asian inspired flavors sure to warm your heart and soul!

H) Shawn Carlson – Do you feel like a Sam Adams? Do you love chili? Who does not love bacon? Well come one, come all, and enjoy…”Sam Adams Cowboy Beef and Bacon Lager Chili”! Beans, beef, peppers, spices, Sam Adams, and BACON!!!!! Enjoy, and vote for the Cowboy!

I) It’s Getting Chili In Here! – HEAT and SWEET! Long, slow simmered meat, spices, tomatoes and 3 chile base with a secret ingredient for a flavorful finale!

J) Stamford HS Marching Band – “Rancher’s Spicy Pinto Bean and Chicken Chili” – Pinto beans, chicken, onion, garlic, tomatoes, green peppers, chili powder, salt, sugar, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.

K) Bold for the Gold – Dan Tewes and his daughter Sarah make a chili that is bold and spicy, rich in beef with fresh veggies. The chili up front heat is not overpowering, which allows you to enjoy all the flavors. However, the heat builds as you eat more and is best consumed with a cold beverage of choice!

L) Rama Kumanduri and Cristina Romero– “Chile con Pasión” – A unique balance of fresh and dry Chiles (roasted and smoked, hot and flavorful) combined with peppers and spices from around the world to pleasure your palate!

%d bloggers like this: