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August 30, 2010

Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament enters semi-finals

carpaccioThe Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament, which began in May with 16 Baltimore chefs taking on 16 Washingtonians in an "Iron Chef"-style competition, is down to the final four.

The semi-finalists -- three classically trained men and one self-taught woman. -- will compete tonight and Tuesday at The Belvedere Hotel with hopes of advancing to the Sept. 13 finals.

Tonight, Kenneth Plante will take on Sarah Mogol. Plante, who trained at Baltimore International College, is executive chef of Red Star in Fells Point. The self-taught Mogol has been a caterer under the name Bountiful Catering and has taught cooking classes in the Washington area.

On Tuesday, Justin McGuann will compete against Dennis Friedman. McGuann recently took a job with Aldo’s Ristorante Italiano. He trained at Baltimore International College. Friedman is chef-owner of Bezu, a French-Asian fusion restaurant in Potomac. He trained at the Culinary Institute of America.

The event takes place at Truffles Catering at the Belvedere in Mount Vernon. Tickets are available at

General admission tickets are $55, including tax and gratuity. They entitle the holder to a four-course meal by Chef Timothy Dore of Truffles. General Admission ticket holders are also eligible for random selection as a guest judge for that evening’s competition.

"Judging Experience" tickets cost $75 each, including tax and gratuity. Those tickets include a four-course meal and tastes of all six of the chefs’ creations.

Ten percent of net proceeds go to Moveable Feast, a local nonprofit organization that delivers nutritious meals to people living with HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and other life-threatening conditions.

Carpaccio of beef, a Kenneth Plante creation when he was at Miss Irene's. Sun file photo
Posted by Laura Vozzella at 5:39 AM | | Comments (3)


Maybe someone with cable can tell me: is this a yet-unexplored theme for reality television: competition among the self-taught or self-teaching competitions?
Iron Autodidact?

jl, for some reason I immediately thought of the classic Veejer episode of Star Trek (or was it the movie?) No matter. That's the one where an Earth satellite (Voyager?) crashes into something else in deep space (natch) and as computers will do when they smash into each other, they get smarter and kind of evil.

Anyway, there's a funny scenario in my mind where William Shatner screams at a self-taught chef about something until they relent and collapse into submission/conformity/slavish "logic". Oh wait, that's every Gordon Ramsay show.

Veejer ...

Ten percent of net proceeds go to Moveable Feast,


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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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