Two Celebrity Chefs, A Big Green Bus and A Lot of Pasta

New York, NY (April 19, 2012) -- Bravo’s Top Chef Season 9 alum and fan favorite Grayson Schmitz will battle it out with Food Network Star Season 8 finalist Malcolm Mitchell this Thursday, April 26 beginning at noon in Union Square as part of Lucini Italia and Delverde Pasta’s Taste of Italy Tour. 

The two chefs will have thirty minutes to prepare a dish that includes four classic Italian ingredients: Lucini® Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil®, Pecorino Romano cheese, prosciutto, and Delverde® pasta. What’s more, the chefs will be cooking in the imported Delverde and Lucini “Food Bus”.

This is not your run-of-the-mill food truck either; the state-of-the-art food bus features an Olis® industrial kitchen, modern lounge area and comes with its own team of Italian chefs. In the states for a limited time on a special visa, the bright green, 40 foot bus serves as the perfect platform for Lucini and Delverde to educate Americans on the importance of freshness and quality ingredients to real Italian food.

Spectators will be able to taste both dishes before casting their vote for the favorite.  They will also be encouraged to share their vote on Twitter (#tasteitaly) and Facebook. The winning chef will be announced at 2 pm.

This cooking showdown will kick off the Taste of Italy Tour, which is expected to pass out over 15,000 samples and over $50,000 worth of coupons at multiple events throughout the end of June. Events will include celebrity chef appearances, giveaways, special offers and chef-created recipes such as Rigatoni Amatriciana or Farfalle with Pesto. And of course to round out the meal, the bus will also be serving Prosecco, rustic Italian appetizers of meats, cheeses and peppers and espresso.

The tour is supported by some of the most prestigious and well-known Italian food brands worldwide to complete the traditional Italian recipes: Zonin Prosecco, Auricchio and Locatelli cheese, Fratelli Beretta charcuterie, Caffe’ Vergnano espresso coffee, Ferrarelle mineral water and Montosco salt and spices.

Who: Lucini and Delverde Taste of Italy Tour Cooking Show Down
Where: Union Square West, between 14th and 15th
When: Cook off begins at 12 pm, winners announced at 2 pm. Sampling will be available from 12:30 to 5 pm.
Media Inquiries: Meagan Parrado, Meagan@lucini.com, 786-303-6260

About Lucini Italia: Lucini’s family of gourmet Italian foods are crafted based on the philosophy that great tasting food comes from only the most cared-for, high-quality ingredients and have been a celebrity chef favorite since the company’s inception in 1997. Voted Cook’s Illustrated “Top Supermarket Extra Virgin Olive Oil” and a staple in Bon Appetit Magazine’s test kitchen, Lucini’s extra virgin olive oil has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and in The Oprah Magazine’s ‘The O List’.
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About Delverde Pasta: Founded in 1967, Delverde uses artisan methods and the best ingredients available to produce over 40 cuts of authentic Italian pasta. Delverde is located in Abruzzo, Italy, inside the pristine Majella National Park, in what is known as the best region in the world for pasta producers.  Sold in over 50 countries, Delverde is a leading brand of premium pasta in Italy. The Delverde Pasta brand is part of  Molinos USA Corp, a subsidiary of Molinos Rio de la Plata S.A.

About Grayson Schmitz: Chef Grayson Schmitz brought sassy commentary and saucy cooking to Bravo’s Top Chef: Texas (Season 9). Grayson hails from the small town of New Holstein, Wisconsin and is proud to be a “Sconnie” girl. She credits her straight-talking swagger to her family and mid-western values. Like her personality, Grayson’s food is inspiring, but not pretentious. She prides herself on complex flavors with rustic preparation. From cheese curds and beer to foie and Burgundy, Grayson loves food and how it brings people together. Grayson began working in professional kitchens at age 15. After high school, she migrated to the East coast to pursue schooling in culinary arts. Upon graduation from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), she spent her formative years training under the best chefs in New York City, including Jean Georges Vongerichten, Fabbio Trabocchi, and Kurt Gutenbrunner. Grayson is currently head of recipe development at Olivier Cheng, New York’s premier events catering company.

About Malcom Mitchell: Affectionately called “The Chef,” the Food Network Star Season 8 Finalist’s relationship with food began with southern influences.  At the age of 12, alongside his Charleston born mother of West Indian descent, Malcolm assisted her in the kitchen with cooking and preparation, a love affair for Southern Caribbean cooking, which he coins “Geechee” cuisine. In 2002, Malcolm obtained his degree in Advanced Culinary Arts from Stratford University, and became a classically French trained chef. His uniqueness to interpret flavor and marry unimaginable combinations, resulting in edible harmony, sets him miles apart from the competition. Malcolm has his own signature company, M. Mitchell The Chef which housed personal chef services to many NBA Athletes, A-listers and Politicians.