BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- As the heat was rising in the LG Kitchen at the first-ever "Taste of Beverly Hills" wine and food festival presented by FOOD & WINE, a distinguished panel of celebrity chefs proclaimed Brett Youmans from Reading, Pa., America's "Top Amateur Chef" in the second annual LG Electronics USA "Taste of Something Better" cooking competition.
The winner took home an impressive prize package, including a complete LG kitchen makeover and the opportunity to represent the United States in LG's global 2010 "Life Tastes Good" Championship taking place later this month in Seoul, South Korea, with more than 20 representatives from across the world competing for the global title.
With just under an hour on the clock, competition finalists – Youmans, Paula Mannino of Spokane, Wash., and Lou Kostura of Belmont, Calif. – worked furiously in the LG Kitchen to perfect their culinary masterpieces. Judging the competition was a world-class team of celebrity chefs: Ted Allen, host of the Food Network's hit primetime series "Chopped," Tim Love, season two winner of "Iron Chef America," Michael Voltaggio, Chef de Cuisine at The Dining Room, Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena, and "Top Chef Masters" fan favorite, Ludo Lefebvre.
After the judges conferred and deliberated, Youmans was crowned the winner for his orange scented lamb skewers atop watercress and roasted fig salad with baked goat cheese crisps prepared on the LG induction cooktop. Kostura was awarded first runner up for his crab stuffed pork tenderloin cooked to perfection using the LG built-in wall oven, while Mannino took home second runner up for her chicken cacciatore with polenta recipe using the induction cooktop and LG over-the-range microwave with warming lamp technology. Lifestyle expert Sissy Biggers, who has been showcased on Food Network's "Ready, Set, and Cook!" and ABC's "Extreme Makeover," served as emcee for the Beverly Hills cook-off and festivities.
"It was a great experience to compete in front of an audience, and have my dish judged by such culinary talent. All of the finalists did a fantastic job, and it was exciting to compete against them," said Youmans. "I'm thrilled to be going to Korea to represent the U.S. in LG's global cooking competition."
The three finalists, having traveled from various places across the country to compete in the competition, were chosen from hundreds of submissions in an LG-sponsored recipe contest announced earlier this summer.
"LG's 'Taste of Something Better' cooking competition is truly a celebration of the home chef and the many creative recipes that are born out of the home kitchen," said Ellis Mass, Brand Director, Home Appliances, LG Electronics USA. "Today, I had the pleasure of presenting the award for America's 'Top Amateur Chef' and seeing the culinary prowess that LG hopes to encourage in the kitchen by providing the tools needed to tackle any cooking challenge - whether entertaining for a group like today or a simple family meal."
Although Youmans took home the grand prize, none of the contestants went home empty-handed. The three prize packages included:
- Grand prize: Youmans earned a trip for two to South Korea to compete in LG's global cooking competition, a premium LG kitchen package, including gas cooktop, double wall oven, 4-door French-door refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave oven.
- Runner-up: Kostura won a complete LG premium appliance package including gas cooktop, double wall oven and 4-door French-door refrigerator.
- Second runner-up: Mannino was awarded an LG double wall oven.
About LG Electronics USA
LG Electronics USA, Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, Inc., a global force and technology leader in consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile communications. In the United States, LG Electronics sells a range of stylish and innovative home entertainment products, mobile phones, home appliances and business solutions, all under LG's "Life's Good" marketing theme. For more information, please visit www.LG.com.
About Taste of Beverly Hills
The "Taste of Beverly Hills" presented by FOOD & WINE, will benefit the Beverly Hills Education Foundation and will take place across from the Beverly Hilton Hotel September 2-5, 2010. The schedule of activities will include afternoon and evening sessions, and will range from local restaurant tastings, wine and mixology seminars, to cooking demonstrations from the city's most sought-after chefs as well as America's celebrated chefs and personalities, and live entertainment from some of the music world's most respected artists. Tickets will be available starting July 14, 2010 for $125 per person, with advance purchase, for a day session pass; $150 per person, with advance purchase, for an evening session pass; and $500 per person for an all-access weekend packages that will allow guests into afternoon and evening sessions, seminars, how-to's, and chef demos, competitions, and more. Hotel weekend packages will also be available for visitors to the city on Labor Day weekend. For further information on these and other festival news and updates please call 877.434.TOBH (8624) or visit www.thetasteofbeverlyhills.com or find more information on Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE LG Electronics USA, Inc.