Local chefs to wage culinary battle in return of Vito’s cooking contest

By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Thu., Sep. 26, 2013
Vito’s chef and owner, Rob Maffucci, is hosting the second ‘So You Think You Can Cook?’ competition this year. The digital cooking contest will be held in three rounds, starting Saturday, Oct. 5. The public is invited to vote on their favorite chef’s cooking videos by going to www.vitosct.com. Courtesy photos. - Contributed Photo

A Windsor restaurant is taking center stage again, this time with the reappearance of Vito’s “So You Think You Can Cook?” competition.  Last year’s competition drew 75,000 viewers as nine contestants battled it out behind the stove.

Chef and owner Rob Maffucci, who uses a tech-savvy approach to his business, hosts the “digital cooking competition.”
Contestants use mystery ingredients and prepare a meal through three rounds, all while on camera.

“This year the competition returns with new ingredients, wild twists and challenges,” said Maffucci, “and all to support a great cause.” This year’s proceeds will go to support the work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Maffucci said that the competition was started last year to give local cooking talent a chance to shine. “So many people enjoy cooking from home as a hobby and are wonderful at it,” he said. Maffucci credits the Internet for people’s growing interest and participation in the cooking process. “Apps such as Pinterest have taken off,” he said. “We’ve seen a much greater involvement in local people wanting to take part in the whole cooking process.”

Round one will take place on Saturday, Oct. 5. Contestants will have 30 minutes and will be given four mystery ingredients from which to create an entrée which judges will evaluate. The six finalists from this round will have their cooking videos put on the restaurant’s website and Facebook page for people to “like.”  Every “like” is a vote in favor of the contestant.

During round two, on Saturday, Oct. 26, the final six will “battle it out” using four mystery ingredients again.
The final round will be held Saturday, Nov. 23, at Vito’s by the Park in Hartford.

Although auditions to find contestants have already been held, you can watch the competitors’ videos on the restaurant website at www.vitosct.com after Oct. 5, and vote for your favorites.

Last year’s winner, Robert Lewis, now works at one of the Vito’s locations as a chef.

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