A battle of top area chefs is among the draws at the inaugural DeKalb County International Food and Music Festival.
The event, Nov. 12 at the General Motors property in Doraville, celebrates the county’s diverse culture with an international mix of music, entertainment and food. Organizers hope the festival, which runs from 2-8 p.m., will become an annual event that sparks economic development and tourism.
Culinary Fight Night (CFN) is a cooking competition that pits chefs against each other for prizes. The festival’s version of Culinary Fight Night is an abbreviated version that will feature 10 chefs and five head-to-head battles, according to the festival’s Facebook page. The chefs will be required to cook one course in 20 minutes for a panel of local celebrity judges. The chef with the most points at the end of the final battle will win either $500 or airfare and entry to the New York installment of CFN.
The meal will be judged on taste, presentation and creativity, with each category counting 25 percent of the total grade. An audience vote counts for the final 25 percent.
County commissioner Stan Watson, organizer of the event, said his goal is to get 25 restaurants to serve as vendors at the event. Asian, Indian and Caribbean restaurants have committed to participate, and Watson said he is attempting to add Hispanic and Greek cuisine, as well as other types of restaurants to the bill.
“We’d like to get representation from some of the restaurants in downtown Decatur, and we have the Romanian consulate coming to town so that might be a possibility,” Watson said. “We’re looking at other types of cuisine as well. And Liane (Levetan, honorary chairwoman) is reaching out to the Jewish community.”
In addition to the food, there will be music, dancing and other entertainment on three stages. The entertainment includes Chinese, Taiwanese and Caribbean dancing, a martial arts demonstration, and Jamaican music as well as jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues and country music.
Admission to the festival is free, and there is a $5 parking fee per vehicle. All entertainment is free and visitors can buy food tickets to sample the international cuisine.
Also, there will be a children’s play area where arm bands can be purchased for $5, which allows kids to play all day.
All proceeds after expenses will benefit the Police Athletic League and the DeKalb Police Alliance.