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Epicurean Hotel to Host Annual “Epic Chef Masters” to Benefit Feeding Tampa Bay

Posted by Kelly Stafford, July 2021

TAMPA, Fla. (July 27, 2021) – The Epicurean Hotel is hosting the sixth annual Epic Chef Masters (Aug. 2, 9 & 16) to benefit Feeding Tampa Bay, the area’s largest food rescue and distribution organization. Modified and rebilled as the Epic Chef Masters, this year’s event will feature local executive chefs, rather than sous chefs who have participated in past competitions. Epic Chef Masters has also been condensed into a three-week competition (previously seven weeks), pitting some of the Tampa Bay area’s top restaurants in a friendly cooking competition judged by select audience members each week. For three weeks, beginning Monday, Aug. 2, each chef will be challenged to create a unique dish made with a mystery ingredient and pantry items supplied by Feeding Tampa Bay. Each dish will serve as one course of the four-course meal, with the remaining dishes produced by the culinary team at Epicurean. Instead of a single overall “epic” champion, a winning chef will be selected each week by a few select members of the audience in the Epicurean Theatre.

“Although we weren’t able to hold Epic Chef last year, we’ve had time to retool the program and bring back this better-than-ever version showcasing several of our favorite local chefs,” said Shawn Routten, general manager of Epicurean Hotel. “The event will look a little different, but the focus remains on our incredible partner, Feeding Tampa Bay, and supporting their mission to bring awareness to the hunger issues in our community.”

The three-week competition schedule is as follows:

Aug. 2           Chef Ferrell Alvarez, Rooster & the Till   v.  Chef Michael Buttacavoli, Cena

Aug. 9           Chef Ted Dorsey, The Mill Restaurant    v.  Chef Eric McHugh, HEW Parlor & Chophouse

Aug.16          Chef Marty Blitz, Mise en Place                 v.  Chef Tyson Grant, Parkshore Grill


“The return of Epic Chef Showdown as a Masters series promises to be an energizing experience,” said Thomas Mantz, President & CEO of Feeding Tampa Bay. “Coming off such a tough year for us all, especially those in our hospitality community, we’re thrilled to gather again and bring this unique event back in a way that celebrates Tampa Bay’s iconic Epicurean Hotel, top restaurants and talented chefs. With our community’s support and these shining stars standing by our side, we’re closer every day to fulfilling our vision of a healthy, capable and hunger-free region by 2025. I encourage everyone to join us in thanking those who give to so many – food insecure or not – a richer life and possibilities through the one thing we all have in common, food.”

Epic Chef Masters events will take place inside the Epicurean Hotel’s Epicurean Theatre from 6:30 to 9 p.m. A very limited number of tickets will be available to the public via Epicurean Hotel’s event calendar, but spectators without tickets can watch all the action from the hotel’s lobby, where the event will be shown on big screen TVs. In addition, Epic Chef Showdown will be streamed LIVE through YouTube and promoted through Feeding Tampa Bay’s social channels.

To further support the cause, event guests will be able order the “Epic Monday” special of house made short rib tortellini ($12) and a locally selected craft beer ($5) at Élevage, the hotel’s signature restaurant, each week from 5 to 9 p.m., with all proceeds benefitting Feeding Tampa Bay. A limited number of the dishes from each participating restaurant will also be offered those nights. For more information, visit

Epic Chef Masters sponsors include Florida Blue (title sponsor), Epicurean Hotel/Mainsail Lodging & Development, The Identity Tampa Bay, DTCC, GrayRobinson, Harvard Jolly Architecture and Steve Heiser.

The food-focused Epicurean Hotel features a state-of-the-art culinary classroom known as the Epicurean Theatre; Élevage SoHo Kitchen & Bar signature restaurant; EDGE Rooftop Cocktail Lounge; Bern’s Fine Wines & Spirits wine shop; Evangeline full-service spa; and 5,200-square feet of flexible event space. The Epicurean Hotel was developed in collaboration with Mainsail Lodging & Development and the legendary Bern’s Steak House and is the first newly constructed hotel property in the United States to join the prestigious Autograph Collection® of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR).

For information and reservations at the Epicurean Hotel, call (855) U-AWAKEN (829-2536) or visit For more information on Feeding Tampa Bay, visit


About Feeding Tampa Bay
As one of the nation’s top hunger relief organizations, Feeding Tampa Bay is ending hunger by fueling human potential in every family, child and senior across our 10-county region. By leveraging the daily connection around a meal, the organization is evolving its partnerships, programs and services with a goal to break down barriers and create long-term health and capability in the lives of the individuals it serves. Feeding Tampa Bay has continuously evolved its services by almost doubling its reach to serve over 1 million people in our community, and anticipates it will serve up to 85 million meals this year.  Today, Feeding Tampa Bay and its community stand together to lift the families we serve, because food makes tomorrow possible.

About Mainsail Lodging & Development
Mainsail Lodging & Development is an award-winning, Tampa, Florida-based company specializing in hotel, corporate furnished housing, and resort property management and development, marketing and sales. An established company with a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit, Mainsail prides itself in finding unique lodging opportunities with a purpose, and applying its passion and expertise to each project. Created by President Joe Collier with a combination of daring vision and dogged determination, Mainsail has built an impressive portfolio of top-branded properties throughout the southeastern United States and Caribbean. Each Mainsail property inspires guests with a distinct character and meticulously crafted, sophisticated style, from a private island resort, and urban culinary showplaces, to waterfront marvels, boutique southern hotels, and a historic jazz era icon. Through its Mainsail Corporate Housing and Mainsail Vacation Rentals brands, the company manages a collection of private vacation homes in Florida and corporate housing solutions across the country. To ensure long-term success and profitability, Mainsail relies on the dedication of its high-performing leadership team, a growing group of enterprising investors, and a commitment to giving back, every step of the way.

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For more information, please call the general manager of the hotel.

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