First annual Hyde Park Apartment Chef Cook-Off to be held this August

Herald Intern

Chefs from Hyde Park will compete for the title of Top Apartment Chef in the first annual Hyde Park Apartment Chef Cook-Off on Aug. 18 at noon.

The event will take place at Regus Hyde Park, 5113 S. Harper Ave. Tickets to the event are $10 for competitors and $15 for attendees. Chefs of all skill levels are encouraged to enter the competition.

Ten chefs will compete at the event and the winner will receive a $200 Jewel gift card. There are currently five chefs enrolled in the competition. Organizers hope more chefs will apply.

Event attendees can watch the competition, sample the chefs’ dishes and enjoy complimentary food and beverages from Hyde Park-based vegan food company Moon Meals, which is sponsoring and hosting the event.

Southside native LaForce Baker, the founder and executive chef at Moon Meals, shares on his company’s website that he overcame obesity by taking control of his diet and eating plant-based meals. Now he distributes vegan meals to major retailers and foodservice operators across Chicago.

“We wanted to host an event that empowered home cooks in the neighborhood since our founder started out as a home cook,” said Moon Meals spokesperson Andrea Cordts.

The chefs participating in the competition will showcase their creations to a panel of four judges. James Martin, executive chef at A10, Lamar Moore, executive chef at Currency Exchange Café, Carlos Cruz, executive chef at The Promontory and Baker, will sit on the panel.

In order to compete, the chefs must prepare their best dish ahead of time and have it ready to serve by noon on competition day. The creation will need to be available in one-ounce services for each of the judges to sample as well as additional portions for attendees to try. Ingredient lists will need to be submitted ahead of time.

The last day to enter the competition is Aug. 6. To enter, email

The Hyde Park Apartment Chef Cook-Off is part of the Chicago Tribune Food Bowl, a series of food-related events happening across the city throughout August which celebrate the Chicago food scene.

For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, please visit