Local chef Clint Jolly is packing up his knives and boards a plane this week to compete against nine other chefs from across the country in the Farm to Table Chefs Taste Challenge at the New Orleans Convention Center on Friday, Aug. 19.
Jolly, chef and owner of Great Thyme Catering and a Food Network Chopped champion, along with sous chef for this competition, Josh Deri of Blend Catering, will prepare Gator Poutine, a Cajun-inspired dish created by Jolly. The dish features in-season, regionally sourced farm fresh, sustainable ingredients selected by a lottery style drawing for the contest.
“The story of food begins on the farm,” Jolly said. “As a chef, it’s my job to treat the ingredients with respect to the farmers and ranchers and tell that story in an interesting way.”
Jolly was selected by a panel of judges in the preliminary round, and then earned his place in the competition by soliciting online votes through social media.
“I’m so grateful for all of the votes submitted on my behalf,” he said. “It’s awesome to represent Nevada and the West in this competition. I’m eager to infuse a little of my Nevada roots into such an exciting blend of ingredients.”
A long-time mentor to the Carson High School Career and Technical Education culinary program, Jolly will spend the morning leading up to the event mentoring young adults at Café Reconcile, a nonprofit restaurant dedicated to helping youth ages 16 to 22 who have a passion for the food service industry. The program works with young people to break the cycle of generational poverty, violence and neglect and to help them become productive, contributing members of society.
“Mentoring high school students has been really rewarding,” he said. “It will be amazing to work with the community partners at Café Reconcile to share my experience with students who are lifting themselves up out of poverty, prejudice and fear to pursue hope and prosperity through on-the-job learning.”
For more information, contact Jolly at www.clintjolly.com or via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.