Think you’ve got an eye for the next big thing in food? Come out to Ivy Tech Community College Wednesday for the Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge and see if you can pick the winner. (I’ll be there to emcee the event, so be sure to say hello!) The contest, sponsored by Reliable Water Services, includes a range of food products from pickles to peanut butter to potato chips – with some burgers and seasonings as well.
There are two categories in the contest: start-ups (food entrepreneurs who are just getting going) and early stage businesses (those that are already in the market).
The public is welcome to attend the judging, which begins at noon June 24 (you can register here). Attendees can talk with participants and judges, enjoy refreshments from Ivy Tech culinary students and vote for the People’s Choice winner as well. The event takes place at Ivy Tech’s culinary facility, 2820 N. Meridian St.
In the start-up category, participants include:
- Robert Carmack of The Indiana Pickle Company
- Joshua Swift of UFlavor Ketchup Boosters
- Casey Alexander and Dyke Michaels of Beast Food Service, an Irvington-based gourmet burger truck
In the early stage category, participants include:
- Jon Weed of B. Happy Peanut Butter
- April Richwine of Far Out Fred’s Unique Burgers food truck
- Mark McSweeney of Broad Ripple Potato Chip Co.
Grand prize winners in each category receive $2,000 in seed money, expert consultation and $1,000 in scholarship from Ivy TechCommunity College, a $250 shopping spree at Zesco.com restaurant supply, business plan and marketing software, and the start-up winner also receives $500 in commercial kitchen time from Carmel’s Kitchen. — Jolene Ketzenberger