Eight Amateur Chefs from Coast to Coast to Compete in 40th Annual Great Garlic Cook-Off

2018 Gilroy Garlic Festival
July 27, 28 and 29, 2018



Eight Amateur Chefs from Coast to Coast to Compete in 40th Annual Great Garlic Cook-Off

June 26, 2018 (Gilroy, CA): The Great Garlic Cook-Off, one of the most prestigious amateur cooking competitions in the country, will be hosted this year by Olympic champion and Food Network star Brian Boitano at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Saturday, July 28. Eight finalists from across the country will compete on the Challenge Butter Cook-Off Stage, preparing their own original recipes for the chance to win a $5,000 prize and the coveted garlic crown.

Three of the finalists hail from California, including Gilroy’s own Todd Antepenko, who will be preparing Gilroy Garlic Asian Inspired Baby Back Ribs. Betty Hass, from just up the road in Cupertino, will make Cookies & Cocktails: Garlic Shortbread and “McGilroy,” while Lidia Haddadian from Pasadena will serve Roasted Garlic and Potato Pierogis with Garlic Shallot Bacon Jam.

Other finalists include Gloria Bradley from Naperville, Illinois, with Roasted Garlic Stuffed Fried Chicken with Pesto Mashed Potatoes and Lemogarlic Sauce; Leah Lyon from Ada, Oklahoma, with Amazing Garlic-Chili Buttered Rosé Lobster Tails with Flamenco Pesto; and Dianna Wara from Washington, Illinois, with a unique Pineapple & Orange Poached Garlic Tart with Macadamia Nut Crumb.

Representing the east coast are Will Simbol from New York, with a recipe for Savory Crunchy Freshy Tangy Shrimpy Herby Garlic Lumpia Wrap; and Debbie Reid from Clearwater, Florida, with Mediterranean Potato Pancake Stacks with Basil Lime Cream.

The Great Garlic Cook-Off recipe contest has been an annual tradition since the very first Gilroy Garlic Festival back in 1979. Per contest rules, each recipe must contain at least six cloves of garlic. Contestants will prepare their dishes in front of Festival guests on the Challenge Butter Cook-Off Stage and present them to a panel of five judges. Each of the dishes will be judged on flavor, texture, creativity, appearance, and use of garlic. The winner is awarded $5,000 and a garlic crown. A prize of $2,500 will be awarded for second place, $1,000 for third place, and $100 for each of the remaining five finalists.

This year’s panel of judges includes Adam Sanchez, Chef-Owner at The Milias Restaurant in Gilroy and a past winner of the Great Garlic Cook-Off; Annie Smith, Chef for Girl Power 2 Cure and a contestant on Food Fighters Season 1; Austin Cobb, Executive Chef at The Strand House in Manhattan Beach; Jason Ryczek, Executive Chef at Farallon Restaurant in San Francisco; and Miriam Vega, Chef at La Niña Perdida in Morgan Hill.

The 2018 Gilroy Garlic Festival, presented by Raley’s, Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods, will run from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 27-29, at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors 60+, $10 for youths ages 10-16, and free for children age 9 and younger. Parking is $10 per vehicle and includes shuttle buses to and from the Festival entrance. Gates close at 6:00 pm. Discount tickets are available online at gilroygarlicfestival.com and at Raley’s, Bel Air, and Nob Hill Foods stores.

For more information, visit gilroygarlicfestival.com.

About the Gilroy Garlic Festival
The Gilroy Garlic Festival will be celebrating 40 years of family fun on July 27, 28, and 29, 2018, at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, California. The Gilroy Garlic Festival has been officially certified by GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® as the world’s largest garlic festival and draws over 100,000 guests from around the world. Presented by Raley’s, Bel Air, and Nob Hill Foods, this three-day celebration features gourmet garlicky food, live entertainment, cooking competitions, and fun for the whole family. For more information, go to www.gilroygarlicfestival.com.


Media Contact: Katherine Filice
Phone (408) 710-8066