Chef’s Challenge returns Sunday

Optimus Foundation welcomes the second annual Connecticut Chefs Challenge on Sunday, Sept. 30.

Held at the Lincoln Culinary Institute, 8 Progress St., Shelton, from 5 to 8 p.m., and hosted by TV and radio personality David Smith of Cablevision's Meet the Leaders, the evening will start with a cocktail hour, silent auction and wine tasting provided by Jones Farms Winery complete with music from the Gary Ruggiero jazz combo.

In a twist on the tradition cooking contest, guests wills tour the kitchens and meet some of Fairfield County's finest chefs as they create their signature dishes. While up close and personal, visitors will have the opportunity to discuss recipes as they sample the chefs' creations.

Guests will vote for their favorite dishes, as a panel of professional and celebrity chef judges will award Best Overall Kitchen, Best Appetizer, Best Entrée and Best Dessert as Fairfield County's finest chefs put their recipes to the test.

With the help of sponsors and attendees, the Chefs Challenge expects to exceed the $20,000 raised in 2011 for the Optimus Foundation.

Registered restaurants include Amici Miei, DaPietro's, Metric Bar & Grill, Sweet Magnolia and the Trumbull Marriott, with more announced every day.

"This is one event you won't want to miss," said Thomas Hill, chief operating officer of Optimus Health Care. "Great food, fine wine and a live music ensemble — it promises to be the top of event of the fall season."

For more details, contact Linda Ugarte at 203-696-3260 ext. 3357 or or visit, @CTChefchallenge on Twitter or find them on Facebook.