We are constantly on the prowl for cool cooking events!

The Arkansas Chef’s Culinary Classic, now in its 10th year, will be held on Tuesday, September 17 at the Statehouse Convention Center (Hall 4). Chefs from all over Arkansas will compete in four categories: appetizer, soup/salad, entrée and dessert.

After the blind judging, the public can buy tickets to try all the entries. Judging starts at 4:30 p.m. and the dinner/silent auction begins at 6:30 p.m. There is also a silent auction that benefits scholarships for hospitality students, and a beer and wine tasting.

Guests can purchase tickets to try the entries for $45 per person–a wine and beer tasting, sponsored by Glazer’s, along with the after party, are included in that price.

(Deviled Egg) 2012 1st Place, Appetizer: Adam Hanry, Camp Mitchell Retreat Center

(Deviled Egg) 1st Place, Appetizer: Adam Hanry, Camp Mitchell Retreat Center

“This is one of our favorite and most anticipated events of the year. I truly believe Arkansas has some of the most talented chefs and best restaurants that you can find anywhere,” said Holly Heer, Director of Membership & Special Events for the Arkansas Hospitality Association. “Not only does this event bring recognition to those chefs, but guests who purchase tickets actually get to taste what’s entered while being able to interact with the chefs. The chefs love the event as well. It really is a lot of fun.”

At the trade show, there’s also a 2-day Iron Chef competition (September 18-19). The competition is open to eight eligible chefs from restaurants, country clubs or catering businesses that are members of the Arkansas Hospitality Association. Bragging rights are on the line! As part of the challenge, contestants must use a “mystery basket” announced at the competition.

Celebs Donnie Ferneau and Alyson Courtney

Celebs Donnie Ferneau and Alyson Courtney

Included in the competition is a celebrity heat where local celebrities are paired with chefs. Last year’s celebrity winners were Melinda Mayo (Channel 7 News) and chef Dan Capello, along with runner-up Alyson Courtney (Channel 7 News) and chef Donnie Ferneau (pictured above).

For more information, please check out the Arkansas Hospitality Association’s website.

Photos courtesy of AHA.