Biloxi casino chef tries to chop competition

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Chef Chris Poplin from IP Casino Resort & Spa in Biloxi is one of the region's top casino chefs.  Poplin will test his culinary prowess Saturday at Southern Gaming Magazine's Casino Cook-off. The cook-off is the latest addition to the Chef's of the Coast Culinary Weekend.

The iron chef-style event will take place on Viking Competition Cooking Platforms in front of a panel of judges and live audience at the Gulf Coast Convention Center. The chefs will battle it out for top honors of Casino Culinary King of the South, cash prizes and the hard earned respect of their peers.

The chefs were chosen based on votes in the magazine's online recipe contest held earlier this year consisting of 16 casino chef's recipe entries. Each recipe featured the signature flavor of Four Roses Kentucky Bourbon and were critiqued based on different categories.

Joining Poplin in the competition are; Chef Gunter Kilian from DiamondJack's Casino in Louisiana; Chef Abel Vergara from Seminole Coconut Creek Casino in Florida and Chef Glen Chapman from Casino Aztar in Indiana.

"This is the single most talented group of casino chefs ever assembled in the South, maybe the country!" commented event producer and General Manager of Southern Gaming Magazine G. Douglas Dreisbach. "We are looking forward to watching their culinary talents unfold in a live setting at the Grand Champion event."

The event is also utilizing local connections in making it a mainstay for the Coast. Gulfport High School and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Culinary College are providing students interested in culinary arts with the opportunity to volunteer at the event and to sell tickets as part of a fundraiser for their programs.

"We want to be sure to utilize as many local resources as we can from volunteers to vendors," added Dreisbach. "Our goal is to build this into the premier culinary weekend of the entire region and to do that, it is important to work with the local community."

Tickets are $75 each (or two for $140).

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