• by Sarah Teach •
This year, the Nantucket Wine Festival organizers are pairing young Nantucketers who dream of pursuing culinary careers with the professional chefs who come to the island for the festival. Bob Buccino, Nantucket High School’s Culinary Arts teacher, is thrilled that some of his students will be assisting world-class chefs during live cooking demos at the festival’s new Culinary Marketplace. Tickets to the marketplace event, which will take place on Thursday, May 16, under the Culinary Tent at the White Elephant, are $30 and allow guests to drop by any time from 10 am until 4 pm.
On Sunday, May 19 from noon to 3 pm, the new Junior Top Chef Competition will again pair Buccino’s local culinary students with professional chefs. Modeled after Bravo’s Top Chef, students will be presented with a basket of surprise ingredients that they must use to prepare a meal within an allotted time period. The four teams of three students will each have a chef mentor to make suggestions. The panel of judges will consist of Executive Chef at Food Network Robert Bleifer, self-made Boston restaurateur Barbara Lynch, winner of 2013 Top Chef Kristen Kish, along with one island chef.
Wine Festival sponsor Creekstone Farms has donated a $5,000 grant to the Nantucket Culinary Arts Foundation, an organization that helps island students train for careers in the culinary world. Students on the winning team will get to present the grant to the foundation, and will also each receive their own chef’s coat. Buccino says, “For the kids who are going to culinary school, doing something like this will be a real feather in their caps.” Spectators are invited to watch the aspiring chefs in action under the Culinary Tent for only $10.
Tickets to the Culinary Marketplace and to Junior Top Chef are available for purchase at nantucketwinefestival.com.