Are you ready for Central Florida’s BBQ Blowout 2nd annual Kid- Que?! We had so much fun last year that we are bringing it back and making it BIGGER and BETTER! Kid- Que is a cooking competition where young apprentice chefs team up with experienced chefs to cook some delicious steaks! This opportunity allows the kid’s to get involved in the BBQ Blowout by working hand-in-hand with the professionals! Our kids will be from Helpful Hands Inc., a local non-profit who we are partnered with. At the end of the night, there will be an awards ceremony to announce who, according to the judges, cooked the steak with the best taste and texture. We would like to thank Texas Roadhouse for donating the 6 oz. sirloins steaks that the Chefs and kids will be using for the Kid-Que Competition. Home Depot is also donating the grills that the steaks will be cooked on so we would also like to give a huge thank you to Home Depot. Join us this year in the fun cooking competition!
For this year’s Kid-Que we have secured the finest chefs from the Central Florida area who are not only incredibly talented, but love giving back to the community and can’t wait to meet our kids from Helpful Hands. They are looking forward to a little friendly competition and we are so happy to have them participate! Let’s get to know a few of our chefs!
Chef Terrance A. Fisher
Education: Le Cordon Bleu
Company: Black Apron Crew
About Chef: I started cooking at a young age because I was the oldest of 2 boy’s. My mother called and gave instructions over the phone, we had to take detailed notes because we didn’t have smart phones to send texts. Fast forward to today after honing my skills at school getting inducted to the honor society. I knew I wanted to start my own company and I did. I’m still fairly new in the world of Culinary but I’m motivated and determined to teach the next generation and also learn from them. In order to be a great leader one must learn how to follow- those are the words I live by.
Chef Chandler Cook
Chef Chandler Cook is the executive chef at DeVine Wine and Grill. He can’t remember when he wasn’t cooking. Originally from South Carolina, he started making biscuits as soon as he was able to stand on a footstool to reach the kitchen counter. He cultivated his culinary foundation through his family and continued developing his passion while graduating from the University of South Carolina with his culinary degree.
Gaining experience and furthering his education, Chef Chandler traveled across the country, explored South America, and worked extensively throughout the southeast until joining DeVine. His culinary philosophy is to create a unique experience that will bring diners back to their roots, regardless of where they came from. “I always make comfort food, no matter what the dish or the inspiration. Southern food is all about comfort; that is where I got my foundation, and I try to bring that feeling to every dish I create. Whether it’s American meatloaf, European style chartcuterie, or Japanese ramen, I want our diners to feel just like they did when they were eating in their grandmother’s kitchen.”
Chef Marcos Cortés
Chef Marcos Cortés grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, an island rich with gastronomy tradition and vast on versatile cooking ingredients. Since an early age, he learned the wonders of sustainable farming, good food, flavor and texture. He worked in different venues including personal chef, restaurants, bakeries, hospitals, and educational institutions. Skilled in team building, training, catering, and cooking, Chef Marcos is a strong operations professional with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and Associates of Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu. Today, Chef Marcos Cortés is working as a Kitchen Supervisor for Oviedo Medical Center and is looking forward to working within the community to highlight his team’s expertise.
Chef Keon Johnson
Chef Keon Johnson, found his passion for cooking at a early age, and has stuck with cooking ever since.
Studied four year in Culinary Arts magnet program in high school, after that went to Le Cordon Bleu Orlando and received is A.S degree in Culinary Arts and business management.
Has worked in the culinary industry for over 18 years, in many places as Walt Disney world, Amway Center, Orlando International Airport just to name a few.
For the past 3 years Chef Keon has had his own personal chef and catering company “Your What’s For Dinner Solution”
Chef Jeff Gruska
Jeff has worked at TJ’s Seafood Shack for the past 3 years while obtaining his master’s degree from UCF. In addition to cooking full time and obtaining his master’s degree, he also teaches mathematics at Valencia State College.
Jeff is in charge of masterminding and executing the specials at the TJ’s in Oviedo. He has a passion for cooking and loves that he can bring his teaching skills into all aspects of his life.
Jeff is looking forward to doing what he does best …. teach kids to be the best they can be while having fun doing it.
Pitmaster Chris Gentry
Chris is a North Carolina native who grew up admiring his mother as she mastered her cooking skills in the kitchen. He furthered that knowledge through over-the- top tailgates at East Carolina University, with family and friends, while smokin’ whole hogs. While living in eastern North Carolina, Chris also learned the unique flavor and method of mopping meat with a vinegar-based sauce. In addition to his diploma, Chris left North Carolina with a desire to create his very own mop sauce recipe.
After moving to Florida, Chris explored various BBQ cooking techniques ranging from the Big Green Egg to drum smokers. It’s on these various grills and smokers that Chris has developed countless recipes ranging from his French toast bake and bacon mac ‘n cheese, to bacon apple pie and signature pulled pork. But, none more important than his mop sauce recipe.
Throughout his tailgates and cooking events, the biggest question Chris is asked is what is the unique flavor in his pork. The secret? Mop sauce.
Chris turned a dream into reality by taking his signature mop sauce and bottling it for the public. Named Roscoe’s Mop Sauce (a tribute to his late Basset Hound), this vinegar-based sauce is flavorful, unique and versatile.
Chris uses Roscoe’s Mop Sauce routinely while smoking pork butts low and slow, as a marinade on chicken, to pickle veggies, as a beef brisket injection, and condiment-style to add extra flavor to sandwiches or stand-alone meats.
Chris, a certified Florida BBQ Association judge, frequently participates in Big Green Egg events and BBQ competitions throughout Florida. You can also find him sampling and grilling at some of his favorite retail shops in Central Florida, including Wassi’s Meat Market, Lucky’s Market and the Ancient Olive.
Chef Thomas Cardenas
Born and raised here in central Florida. Graduated from Le Cordon Blue/Orlando Culinary Academy in 2009 with an AAS in Culinary Arts. I have worked in the industry starting out as a bus boy with Bob Evans as my High School job, and turned it into my career. I have been a manager with Bob Evans (11.5 year tenure, 4 years as a manager), Logans Roadhouse (6 months tenure as a manager), and I am the current bar manager for Applebees Maitland (6 months).
I have a passion for the Arts in general, as I am a percussionist (not currently playing anywhere) and was part of the 1st degree drumline (WGI PIO 2006 Champs) as well as a founding member of Infinity world drumline.
My favorite downtime activity – hanging out with my friend Omar Porter talking about sports/current world activities over a good brew/whiskey.
Also, I am currently receiving chemotherapy for colon cancer.
Chef Cody Scott
I started working for Texas roadhouse 5 years ago.
Started off bussing tables. Moved my way up the Front of house hosting, serving and Key managing.
I made a transition to the back of house Broiling and becoming the Secondary Meat cutter at the Orange City location.
Working my way throughout the kitchen learning new positions. Hard work and determination showed my level of dedication to my Kitchen Manager
Who provided me with all of the endless opportunities I have been offered.
I now work for my old Kitchen Manager as he is my Managing Partner at the Oviedo location.
Being a Kitchen Manager has taught me a lot of valuable skillsets that I will take with me for the rest of my life.
Feeding 10,000 guest a week and employing 100 employees is a really challenging task to perform at 23.
I set a goal at the age of 19 to be something in life. I believe I have found a purpose here at Texas Roadhouse.
Chef Russel Short
Russel Short is the owner/pitmaster of Pull’n My Pork Competition Bbq and Catering in Winter Haven, Fl. Russel has been in competition bbq since 2014. He has four years of culinary education. Russel competed in the 2015 American Royal. He has won many award and accolades since starting his bbq adventure. Russel’s culinary style is southern fusion. Growing up in the south he bleeds southern. Food and family are his passion and pride. This is his second year competing in the Kids-Que competition. His motto is “Go Big or Go Home”.
We don’t want to forget our awesome judges! Mayor Dominic Persampiere, Mayor Charles Lacey, and Cory Skeates, J.D. President are judging the steaks based on taste and texture. They are very excited to taste what our competitors cook up!
Mayor Dominic Persampiere
Mayor Charles Lacey