Zach Bell vs. Dean Max at Taste of the Nation

Palm Beach County's first annual Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation benefit, to be held Wednesday, April 13, in West Palm's Kravis Center, will feature a cooking competition between two of NoSoFla's (that's North South Florida to you) hottest chefs. 

Zach Bell of Café Boulud and Dean James Max of 3030 Ocean will go toque-to-toque in a culinary throwdown that combines the mystery basket of the Food Network's Chopped with the intense time pressure of Top Chef's Quickfire Challenge.  

The competition will take place at 7 p.m. at the center's Cohen Pavilion, with the chefs side-by-side onstage in front of self-supplied cooking equipment. They'll then have 15 minutes to create a dish based on the ingredients in two identical baskets, to be judged by a distinguished panel of three judges. (Or at least a mostly distinguished panel, since cookbook author and former Washington Times restaurant critic Judith Olney and Dine magazine editor Katy Lynch will be joined by yours truly.) 

Whose cuisine will reign supreme?  

How the hell should I know? I

haven't tasted it yet. We'll all find out at 7:30 p.m. But it does

promise to be fun. And there's not a better cause than ending childhood

hunger, especially at a time when everyone whose name isn't Goldman

Sachs is taking it in the chin. 

Among the participating

restaurants: Café Boulud, 3030 Ocean, Dada, Atlantic Ocean Club, Casa

d'Angelo, Roy Villacrusis's extraordinary Kubo and more. The event runs

from 6 to 9 p.m. General admission tickets are $80 in advance and $100

at the door. VIP tickets are $125 in advance and $150 at the door. Get

'em here. http://www.strengthflorida.org/

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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