Winners of 10th Annual Cast Iron Cook-Off
Overall Grand Champion for 2015 – Thyme Bistro Team, Chef Geoff Krauss, Weston, W.Va.
People’s Choice Award – Mia Margherita Team, Chef Pamela Stevens, Bridgeport, W.Va.
Best Use of Cast Iron – WVU Erickson Alumni Center Team, Chef Scott Spiker, Morgantown, W.Va.
Best Use of Local Appalachian Protein – Atomic Grill Team, Chef Emily Zimmerman-Smith, Morgantown, W.Va.
Best Use of Appalachian Value-Added Products – Steelite International Team, Chef John Wright, New Castle, Pa. (Note: Chef John Wright of Bridge Road Bistro, Charleston, W.Va.)
Best Menu 21st Century Interpretation of Traditional Appalachian Cuisine – Thyme Bistro Team, Chef Geoff Krauss, Weston, W.Va.
Best Single Course 21st Century Interpretation of Traditional Appalachian Cuisine – Mia Margherita Team, Chef Pamela Stevens, Morgantown, W.Va.
Best Table Presentation – Charleston Marriott Team, Chef John Eckstadt, Charleston, W.Va.
Best Teamwork – MVB Bank Charleston Team, Chef Scott Maroney, Charleston, W.Va. (Note: Chef Maroney of Mardi Gras Casino & Resort, Cross Lanes, W.Va.)
Visionary creative leader Larry Groce, founder of Mountain Stage and FestivALL, was presented The Pioneer Award by the Collaborative for the 21st Century Appalachia. The award was bestowed in recognition of Groce’s impact upon the region’s creative culture and economy.
Additionally, the Battle of the Virginias pitted three notable chefs from the Mountain State against three of their counterparts from the Commonwealth in a companion contest. The West Virginia team won by an extremely close margin, as judges determined that merely a single point separated the two teams’ culinary offerings. The West Virginia team, sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Tourism, was led by Chef Richard Arbaugh and Chef Tim Arden both of South Hills Market & Café (Charleston, W.Va.) and Chef Tom Grant of Carver Career Center (Charleston, W.Va.). The Virginia team, sponsored by the Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau, was led by Chef Abigail Hutchinson of The Olde Farm (Bristol, VA); Chef Jassen Campbell of Heartwood Artisan Center (Abingdon, VA) and Chef Nathan Breeding of Southern Culture Farm-to-Table Service (Abingdon, VA). The Battle of the Virginias was presented by the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau.