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Love food, cooking, or watching TV cooking shows? Now, you and a lucky date can watch a cooking competition in person and support an important local cause. The Epicurean Hotel, in Hyde Park, is hosting the fifth annual Tampa’s Epic Chef Showdown, a contest where proceeds are donated to Feeding Tampa Bay. Feeding Tampa Bay is the Bay area’s largest food rescue and distribution organization. 

During the competition, eight of Tampa Bay’s top restaurants, two every week before the semi-finals and finale, will compete against each other in the ultimate local showdown. Ichicoro Imoto, The Mill, Mise en Place, Noble Crust, Oxford Exchange, Parkshore Grill, Red Mesa and Rooster & the Till. The two restaurants competing will receive a box of ingredients that are generally not paired together and make two dishes out of the ingredients. While watching, you and your date can try and come up with what you would make the ingredients.

Jeff Philbin, Season Eight Master Chef fan-favorite contestant and Tampa native, will host the competition. Every week will have different famous locales as judges. Judges so far include former Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, Sherrif Chad Chronister, WFLA’s Stacie Schaible and WDAE sports radio’s Ian Beckles. 

The event began July 15, but there are still six weeks left in the competition that you and your date can get tickets too.

Competition dates are July 22, July 29 and Aug. 5. Semi-finals will be Aug. 12 and Aug 19 with the finals on Aug. 26. 

Tickets are available online for each week for $250 a pair, except the finale which is $350 a pair, one for you and one for your date. The tickets also include a coursed meal with wine pairings! You get to watch a cooking competition and eat a gourmet meal too! It’s the perfect food night!  

If you can’t afford to buy tickets, you and your date can still watch the competition from the hotel lobby on large TVs. You can also make it interesting by betting on which restaurant will win. The loser, person not restaurant, then owes the winner dinner at one of the two competing restaurants on the next date night. 

Grab your fork, knife and spoon and get ready for Tampa’s Epic Chef Showdown. It’s about to get hot in the kitchen. Show your support for a great cause, eat food, and watch your favorite local restaurants compete against each other. How does it get better for food fans?

For more food date ideas check out Best Burgers in the Bay and Dinner and a Show