Gig Harbor Wine & Food Festival has announced its featured chef - Holly Smith, owner and chef of Cafe Juanita in Kirkland.
Why an Eastside Seattle chef for a South Sound event? Organizers said they were aiming for a chef with celebrity status. Fair enough. Understandable that Smith would land on the radar - she's been named a Northwest Best Chef by the James Beard Foundation and she's a television celeb - she beat Chef Cat Cora in Season 10/episode 11 of the Food Channel's "Iron Chef." When she appears at the Gig Harbor Wine & Food Festival, she'll also take on a South Sound chef in an Iron Chef style competition. That chef is not yet named, but event director Victoria Trimmer said via email she has someone in mind.
Smith, from Maryland, started her Seattle career cooking for Tom Douglas at Dahlia Lounge, then worked for Tamara Murphy at Brasa before buying her Kirkland restaurant from longtime Cafe Juanita owner Peter Dow (also of Cavatappi Winery fame).
This will be the third year for the Gig Harbor Wine & Food festival, which will be held Saturday July 14 at the Harbor History Museum. Clickity click here for more details.