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SAN DIEGO — The first-ever “Taste for the Space” competition took place in El Cajon Saturday afternoon.
Twelve chefs competed for the ultimate prize: a restaurant space at the Parkway Plaza Food Court, three months of free rent, and a $20,000 business investment.
Chefs, food truck owners, and culinary professionals were carefully selected after an intensive recruitment process to participate in the Taste for the Space culinary competition.
Below is the list of the 12 local businesses selected:
“I’m making soul food. I have collard greens, rice and gravy, fried chicken wings, and fried cauliflower,” said Chef Michael Price.
“Today, we brought our smacking mac and cheese. We’re going to hit you with a lot of love and secret mixes of cheeses,” said Chef Carmelita Moore.
Vanessa Delgado was in attendance after she won a free giveaway ticket.
“Yeah, it’s a super lucky day! It’s a great way to support small local businesses, local chefs getting a brick and mortar, free samples, free food, and you get to mingle,” said Delgado.
Visitors and a panel of local judges vote for the best chef to win the prize.
“I love the catfish and oxtail, and the Blendee’s acai bowl is on point,” said guest Kimberly Barber of Escondido.
“The food is good here, and the quality of it is really good too,” said 9-year-old Jazmine Barber.
You can always count on kids to be the most prominent truth-tellers.
“My favorite is the mac and cheese. I like the gumbo, but it was a little too spicy for me,” added Jazmine.
“The soul food is good,” said Jazmine’s sister, 8-year-old Jessica Barber, while holding a thumbs up.
The prize package would be life-changing for the winning chef.
“It would mean the world to me. We are just a family that had a dream and took a chance on ourselves,” said Moore.
“Oh, it would change my life a lot. I hope I win. I pray I win,” said Price.
They will announce which chef wins on their Visit Parkway Plaza Instagram page by the end of this year.
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