Thursday, March 1, 2012

Contact: Amanda Sullivan, 828-200-0650
(Highlands, NC) Executive Chef at Old Edwards Inn and Spa, Johannes Klapdohr will defend his title at the 2012 King of the Mountain Chef’s Challenge on March 17 at The Farm at Old Edwards. One competitor vying for the crown will be James Beard Foundation Award finalist Chef John Fleer of Canyon Kitchen in Lonesome Valley. This is the third year for this exciting culinary event and both previous years have been an incredible experience of food, wine and entertainment.
In this ‘Iron Chef’ style competition; four chefs battle the clock—and each other—to produce several mouth-watering dishes in front of a live audience in an open kitchen. Each round of the competition ensues for a full 45 minutes after the chefs discover the three mystery ingredients (per round).
The Competition
Unlike the Food Network show where the Chef’s have 45 minutes to ponder their creations prior to the event, the King of the Mountain Chef Challenge keeps the mystery ingredients a secret until the very moment that each heat begins. The chefs then go to work, making notes, grabbing ingredients and equipment, and assembling their menus in their heads. The gas-stove flames jump to life, and the heat is on.
  • Heat One: Competing in Heat One will be Chef Nicholas Figel 2011 runner up and the 2010 King of the Mountain winner against either James Beard Award Finalist Chef John Fleer or Chef Mathew S. Kowal Chef/Owner Gamekeepers Tavern.
  • Heat Two:  Chef Johannes Klapdohr 2011 King of the Mountain winner will meet his challenger.
  • Heat Winners Announcement: At the conclusion of the second heat both heat winners will be announced.
  • Final Challenge:  The winners of Heats One and Two will face off in the final competition for the honor of being crowned 2012 King of Mountain.
The Competing Chefs
  • Chef Johannes Klapdohr Winner 2011 King of the Mountain Chef’s Challenge, Executive Chef, Old Edwards Inn and Spa, Highlands, NC.
  • Chef Nicholas Figel Winner 2010 King of the Mountain Chef’s Challenge, Owner/Chef Cyprus Restaurant, Highlands, NC.
  • Chef John Fleer, 2011 James Beard Award Finalist, Executive Chef Canyon Creek Restaurant, Sapphire, NC.
  • Chef Matt Kowal, Owner/Chef Gamekeeper’s Tavern, Sapphire, NC.
Event host, co-creator and “Sam’s Cup” Sponsor Matthew Eberz of Sam Call Productions says, “Watching these chefs battle each other and create these stunning dishes is exhilarating. I am amazed at the audience engagement and excitement throughout all rounds of the competition. And, just when you think the event couldn’t get any better, the talented chefs provided a four-course meal that rock your taste buds. I’m in awe of the culinary talent that we have on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau.”
All three culinary competitions will be judged by three exceptionally talented and accomplished culinary experts including:
  • Ms. Shelley Skiles Sawyer, Managing Food Editor, Flavors Magazine
  • Chef Denny Trantham, Executive Chef, Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa
  • Chef Kevin Outzs, Executive Chef, The Spotted Trotter in Atlanta, GA
Tickets may be purchased on line at Price includes all three competitions, four course chef dinner and live entertainment with Bobby Sullivan. Limited seating.
PR Contact:  Matthew Eberz at 404-542-2773 or
About Old Edwards Inn and Spa (
  • Condé Nast Traveler’s #1 Hotel Spa in North America for 2010 with the First Ever Perfect Score in the 20-Year History of the Reader’s Survey
  • Condé Nast Traveler’s #3 Hotel Spa in the United States for 2011
  • 2010 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award (top ten in the US)
  • 2011 TripAdvisor Reader's Choice Award for #4 Best Relaxation Spa Hotel in the U.S.
  • 2011 TripAdvisor Reader's Choice Award for #2 Best Hotel for Romance in the U.S.
  • 2011 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for Madison’s Restaurant
  • 2012 TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards #4 Hotel in The United States
  • Condé Nast Johansen’s Most Excellent Inn in the US and Canada 2008
  • Forbes Four-Star Rated for both the Resort and The Spa
  • AAA Four-Diamond Rated
  • Madison’s Restaurant and Wine Garden has won the Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence” every year since 2005 and the “Best Of” award since 2008.
Old Edwards Inn and Spa cascades along several blocks in downtown Highlands—a cultural mountain village that offers award-winning dining, wine events, art galleries and some of the nation’s top golf resorts. The European style resort welcomes visitors to North Carolina’s high country with its unique blend of relaxed luxury recognized worldwide. A spectacular outdoor heated mineral pool, world class spa, award-winning dining, and golf at the private Old Edwards Club are signature experiences at this full-service mountain resort.  Guests are surrounded by the warmth and character of Old-Europe architecture and authentic period antiques. Many rooms, cottages and suites offer private patios or terraces—some with captivating rooftop views of Main Street and downtown Highlands.  All of the luxury accommodations include champagne arrival, twice-daily housekeeping, two 24-hour business centers and two 24-hour Butler’s pantries with Dove Bars, fresh fruit and soft beverages. European bedding, fine Italian linens, plush robes & slippers, rainfall showers, heated-tile bathroom floors, in-room safes and Wi-Fi enhance the in-room experience. Old Edwards Inn and Spa also boasts a state-of-the art fitness center with wellness classes that include guided hikes into the scenic surrounding mountains known as “waterfall country.”
Guests enjoy onsite shopping at the Spa Boutique, Acorns Boutique or Acorns on Church featuring fine antiques and home accessories. Dining venues include Madison’s Restaurant and Wine Garden serving innovative New South Cuisine, the Spa Café and the Poolside Bar and Bistro. Special events and weddings take place at The Farm—a lushly landscaped Old Edwards property located one mile from downtown Highlands featuring The Barn, the Farmhouse with luxury lodging, Bridal Pavilion, Bridal Bridge over a scenic pond and outdoor events pavilion.  The Edwards Hall Conference Center provides a catered corporate retreat venue. 
Also introduced in 2009 was Satulah, Old Edwards Private Residences, which includes 14 luxury mountain homes just two blocks off Main Street, Highlands. The Forbes Four-Star, AAA Four-Diamond resort is located at 445 Main Street in Highlands, NC.
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Call us Today at 866-526-8008
445 Main St. Highlands, NC 28741