Show Us Your Meat: Six Plate Chef-Off in Gilbert on March 11

A group of restaurateurs and chefs from the Southeast Valley talked about having some friendly competitions to see whose dishes diners liked best. What started as a joke among friends has now become a series of events meant to highlight local eats. In 2012, they launched their Chef Off events to showcase the talents of under-appreciated local chefs and the locally owned and operated businesses they work for.

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Their seventh battle of the chefs is just around the corner and this go-round is all about -- you guessed it -- the meat, as a food truck chef tries his luck against a brick-and-mortar restaurateur.

March 11 at Down Under Wines and Bistro in Gilbert diners can catch two chefs throw down their meat-grillin' skills and help decide which one know their stuff best. The meal includes three small dishes from each chef, a wine pairing and dessert.

One on side of the ring they've got chef Tom Lavoie of Down Under Wines and Bistro. The restaurant is known for serving exotic Australian meats including crocodile kabobs and kangaroo chilli. He'll be up against chef Jordan Kean of J-Licious Tasty Teazy Tacos, who's known for her confit and slow braises.

Diners will pick their favorite dish of each course and vote for a winning chef who will be crowned the reigning champ.

Sure, you always want to take home to win, but the best part is what happens next. The winner has to host the next event at his or her restaurant, creating a pay-it-forward cycle of food, wine and goodwill.

Tickets for the event cost $50 and seating is limited. To make a reservation for the event call 480-545-4900.

Founders John Wong of SN Asian Kitchen, Romeo Taus of Eurocafe, Kirsten Buruell of Down Under Bistro and Wine Bar and Lori Hassler of the former Radda Caffe-Bar say they founded the event "to uplift one another's talents" and don't make a profit off the ticket sales.

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