Uchi, Keeper Collection and The Wine & Food Foundation kick off 2015 Citywide 86’d Competition

“Chopped”- like competition features hopefuls from sixteen Austin restaurant groups

January 20, 2015 (Austin, TX) —Uchi, along with Keeper Collection, The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas, and the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, are excited to announce the preliminary competition dates for the third installment of Citywide 86’d as part of an ongoing effort to engage, support and connect the Austin restaurant community. The competition, in its third year, will take place on the following dates between the following restaurant groups at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts:

  • Saturday, February 7th, 10 a.m.

o laV

o Parkside Projects

o Qui

o Scarlett Rabbit/Greenhouse Craft Food

  • Saturday, March 14th, 10 a.m.

o Barley Swine/Odd Duck

o Congress/Second Bar + Kitchen

o Lenoir

o Swift’s Attic/Wu Chow

  • Saturday, April 18th, 10 a.m.

o Bess Bistro

o Hillside Farmacy/Eden East

o La Condesa/Sway/Hotel Ella

o NoVa

  • Saturday, May 2nd, 10 a.m.

o Contigo/Gardner

o Olivia/Lucy’s

o St. Philip

o Trace

  • Monday, June 16th, 6 p.m. (finale, ticketed event, open to the public, competitors depend on preliminaries)

Fans of Food Network’s Chopped will recognize the idea behind 86’d, a competition where contestants compete in elimination rounds preparing mystery ingredients on the clock. The winners of each round convene to compete in the finals and to declare one ultimate winner. The rules of Citywide 86’d prevent any restaurant staff above sous level from competing, with the competiton open to front of house staff as well.

The 86’d competition began at Uchi in 2008 as an internal battle between staff who were addicted to the show “Chopped”. This battle grew to include Uchiko and Uchi Houston in subsequent years. “We are thrilled to witness how the competition has grown over the years,” comments Chef Tyson Cole. “I love how Citywide 86’d recognizes the talented young chefs in Austin’s growing and tight knit culinary community.”

The contest is divided into three stages: “Appetizer”, “Entrée”, and “Dessert”. Secret ingredients are selected before the competition (seemingly non-compatible or wildcard items like pork skirt steak, prickly pear cactus and coffee beans have popped up in mystery bags) and in each course, the chefs are given the bag containing the four mystery ingredients. Each dish must contain all of the components and be completed in the time allotted for each course.

Celebrating its third year in featuring restaurants across Austin, sixteen restaurant groups will battle it out in monthly Citywide 86’d rounds held at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, which will result in four contestants advancing to the championship in June. In order to include more Austin restaurants, only one participant from each restaurant group is allowed to compete in the preliminary rounds this year. Hopeful participants consist of contestants from Barley Swine/Odd Duck, Bess Bistro, Congress/Second Bar + Kitchen, Contigo/Gardner, Eden East/Hillside Farmacy, La Condesa/Sway/Hotel Ella, laV, Lenoir, NoVa, Olivia/Lucy’s, Parkside Projects, Qui, Scarlet Rabbit/Greenhouse Craft Food, St. Philip/Uchi/Uchiko, Swift’s Attic/Wu Chow and Trace.


The final winner will receive an opportunity to stage (pronounced “stahzje”) at a prestigious restaurant. Staging allows aspiring chefs the chance to work briefly in a celebrated chef’s kitchen to learn new techniques and cuisines. The grand prize stage is accompanied by a $2250 travel grant awarded by The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas. More details on the location of the stage are coming soon.

Fans are invited to cheer on the chefs for the preliminary rounds by following social media accounts @Citywide86d. More information can be found here: http://citywide86d.com/


About Uchi
Uchi showcases the culinary talents of executive chef and James Beard Award winner Tyson Cole. His exciting menu expands on the Japanese tradition with new flavors and innovative food combinations that ensure the most unique dining experience. Cole opened his second restaurant in Austin, Uchiko, in July 2010, celebrated the release of Uchi the Cookbook in March 2011 and in May 2011, Cole received a James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest. He commemorated Uchi Houston in February 2012 and looks forward to opening Uchi Dallas in 2015.

About Keeper Collection
Keeper Collection has established itself in a wide array of fields, and has distinguished itself by creating an entire field devoted to food and wine experience and education, Somms Under Fire, Wine Ride, Chefs Under Fire, and #SommChat. Keeper has garnered international attention for their creation of #SommChat, a weekly wine education forum on Twitter, held from 11 am -12 N CST. Wine and Spirits Magazine wrote that ‘#SommChat is “Wine in 140 characters” and has garnered an impressive guest list’. The impressive guest list includes international wine professionals and the audience is often comprised of active participants from around the world. Keeper is on Facebook and Twitter (@keepercoll), providing the Finest Blend of Taste and Technology®!

About The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas
The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas is a membership nonprofit using passion for wine and food to better the health and well-being of our community hosting public wine and food events, educational opportunities and the finest wine auction in the Southwest. Proceeds from all premiere foundation events benefit The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas, a statewide charitable Foundation with over $1.5 million in donations supporting education and excellence in the culinary and viticulture arts and health in our community.


About The Author

Hayden Walker
Executive Editor | Co-Publisher

Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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