Press Release: Music City Chef Throwdown 2018 Judging Panel Announced


Date: May 23, 2018

Contact: Jennifer Faught, NextUP Marketing

205-913-8998  |


Music City Chef Throwdown 2018 Judging Panel Announced


Music City Chef Throwdown is announcing three additional judges that will evaluate the eight-chef lineup on June 14, 2018 in support of the Martha O’Bryan Center. Season 7 winner of “The Voice”, Craig Wayne Boyd, Ashford Hughes Sr., and Deb Paquette are joining Chris Chamberlain on the panel.


May 23, 2018, Nashville, Tenn. – Local chefs making an impact on Nashville’s culinary scene are going head-to-head at Music City Chef Throwdown to benefit Martha O’Bryan Center. NextUP - Martha O’Bryan Center Ambassadors is challenging Nashville chefs to showcase how an amazing meal can be made with the simplest of ingredients.


A panel of judges will choose a champion and ticket holders will choose their favorite as the “People’s Choice”. Evaluating each dish for creativity, presentation, taste, and affordability are Deb Paquette, local chef and owner of Etc. and Etch restaurants, Ashford Hughes, Sr., city of Nashville’s Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, and Craig Wayne Boyd, foodie and Winner of Season 7 “The Voice”. Chris Chamberlain, author of “Southern Foodie” and local food writer, is returning as head judge.


Music City Chef Throwdown is the annual fundraiser produced by NextUP - Martha O’Bryan Center Ambassadors benefiting Martha O’Bryan Center. The event has already exceeded the $10,000 fundraising goal.


In its fourth year, formerly known as Foodbank Throwdown, the event is unique from other food competitions: chefs receive a list of low-cost, widely available ingredients to create their dish, and cook against the clock to present their meals to the judges, live. Judges will choose the 2018 Throwdown Champion, while our guests choose their favorite as the People’s Choice Award, and the lowest cost meal will be awarded the Spirit Award. Guests will enjoy a sample from each chef team, no crowds or waiting in line, and “front row” access to the action.


The 2018 chef line-up includes: Bryan Lee Weaver of Butcher & Bee, B.J. Lofback of Funk Seoul Brother, Duane Loftus of Von Elrod’s, Matt Bolus of 404 Kitchen, the chef team from Hattie B’s, Chef Kyle Patterson of Sinema, Chef Crystal Bogan of The Grilled Cheeserie, and Chef Jason LaIacona of Saint Añejo. Jason Fitz, host of Spain and Fitz on ESPN Radio, is returning as Emcee.


Supporting this fundraiser for one of the oldest nonprofits in Nashville are title sponsor Capital Financial Group, Kendra Scott, Piedmont Natural Gas, AmerisBank, Neal & Harwell, PLC, Tennessee Title, Kroger, Jackalope Brewing Company, Nashville Audio Visual, Athens Distributing Company, Three Olives Vodka, Old Forester Bourbon, Cuestión Tequila, and Marquee Event Rentals.


Martha O'Bryan Center headquarters is located in East Nashville in the heart of Cayce Place, less than a mile from downtown Nashville in an area comprised of luxury condos, thriving businesses, and state government offices.


The average household income for families in Cayce Place is $7,494, 70% below the national poverty threshold for a family of four. 90% of these households are headed by a single woman; 59% of residents are under the age of 18.


Martha O'Bryan Center programs strategically work together to build upward mobility, resiliency, and well-being within families.


The Martha O’Bryan Center focuses on education and employment. We believe poverty is highly complex and requires the integration of programs, partners, families, youth, and community working together to break the line between poverty and potential.


You can learn more about Music City Chef Throwdown by visiting


About NextUP

NextUP - Martha O’Bryan Center Ambassadors is a service-focused Nashville professionals group dedicated to cultivating the next generation of supporters, who are devoted to awareness, fundraising, and volunteering for the Martha O'Bryan Center. NextUP is made up of 18 young to mid-career professionals living in Nashville who advocate for the greater mission of the Martha O’Bryan Center.


About Martha O’Bryan Center

The Martha O’Bryan Center is a multi-faceted family resource center that provides programs to join families, the community, and schools to support better education and employment opportunities for Nashville’s most at-risk individuals. Located in the Cayce Place neighborhood since 1948, the Center serves more than 10,000 children, youth, and families throughout Nashville each year. Martha O’Bryan Center’s programs throughout the city increase high school graduation rates, college enrollment, access to social-emotional care, and numerous other supports designed to empower and uplift all those the Center serves. Through evidence-based programming and a focus on the values of faith, hope, and love; Martha O’Bryan Center is ending the cycle of poverty in our city.

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