Top Local Chef Dishes Out Competition 

Wendy Ohlendorf, left, owner/chef of Vintage Small Bites & Wine Lounge in Gulfport’s Village Courtyard on Beach Boulevard, is joined by her sous chef Jill Johnson of Gulfport as they grab plated dishes to quickly deliver to the six judges during the annual Top Local Chef competition that was held Sunday, October 20 at the Historic Manhattan Casino, 642 22nd St. S. in St. Petersburg. Each of 10 chefs also prepared about 200 mini plates of their creations for attendees. “It’s been super fun and I have met some great people,” said Ohlendorf. “People are telling me my dish is their favorite. An event like this allows people to sample some of the best of the best from around town.” Chef Jason Gordon of the Brass Bowl Kitchen & Juicery in St. Petersburg won both the people’s choice and judges’ vote. Jenny Banchero, an artist based in St. Petersburg, was paired with Ohlendorf and they chose to incorporate henna art as part of the special creative element of the entry. Ohlendorf wore a temporary henna tattoo on her right arm and also had Banchero decorate the judges’ plates at the competition with a food-based, henna-inspired design.

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