Chef Demos

Back by popular demand, the 2021 California Nut Festival will feature a lively and fun “Nutty Chef Competition” in the crowd-favorite California Olive Ranch cooking demo area. Festival attendees will be able to sit back and enjoy watching a culinary contest that highlights the ingenuity of three local chefs all competing for the honor of being named the 2021 Nutty Chef.

As a part of the friendly contest, each chef will receive 30 minutes to prepare a delightfully delicious dish of their choice in front of the live audience. Each chef will be allowed to bring ingredients of their choice but they will be given a number of secret ingredients that they will need to creatively incorporate into their special dish.

After a taste test, a panel of judges will select the winner who will be announced at the festival. Plus, there will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions of the talented local chefs. Please plan your day to join the fun in this unique and nutty way!

2021 Cooking Demo Schedule

Ann Leon of Almendra Winery & Distillery

1 p.m.
John Dean of Drunken Dumpling

2 p.m.
Richard Hirshen of Mooney Farms/Bella Sun Luci

2:45 p.m.
2021 "Nutty Chef" Winner Announced

Ample seating is available; arrive early, sit back and enjoy the cooking presentations!

2021 Competitors

  • Chef Ann Leon

    Ann Leon of Burban Kitchen

    Almendra Winery & Distillery

  • Chef John Dean

    Chef Amanda Bosschart

    Drunken Dumpling

  • Chef Richard Hirshen

    Chef Richard Hirshen

    Mooney Farms/Bella Sun Luci

2018 Competitors

  • Chef Jorge Vasquez

    Chef Jorge Vasquez

    Executive Chef, OHBees Hive

  • Chef Nathan Johnson

    Chef Nathan Johnson

    Tin Roof Bakery & Cafe

  • Chef Juan Z. Ramirez

    Chef Juan Z. Ramirez

    Two Twenty Restaurant

California Nut Festival Celebrity Chefs from Previous Years

  • 2016

    Chef Michael Iles

    Chef Micheal
    Executive Chef Micheal Iles of Two Twenty Restaurant in Chico

  • 2016

    Chef Michael Thiemann

    Chef Michael
    Owner & Executive Chef Michael Thiemann of Mother & Empress Tavern Restaurants

  • 2016

    Chef David Gomez

    Chef David
    Owner & Executive Chef David Gomez of Roots Catering & Restaurant in Chico

  • 2015

    Ashurina "Chef Rina" Younan
    Three-time Food Network Champion

  • 2014

    Jay Veregge
    Executive Chef from Old Sacramento’s Ten22

  • 2013

    Kurt Spataro
    Executive Chef of Paragary’s Restaurant Group

  • 2012

    Patrick Mulvaney
    Owner of Mulvaneys B&L

  • 2011

    Michael Touhy
    (formerly) of The Grange restaurant