Okay, so maybe we were getting a little bit nervous over here at Voracious World Headquarters . Our big party was just a couple weeks


Voracious Tasting Chef Showdown Contestants Confirmed

Okay, so maybe we were getting a little bit nervous over here at Voracious World Headquarters. Our big party was just a couple weeks away and we didn't have any chefs yet for our big Iron Chef-style culinary throw-down. Was it that they feared the pressure of working in our own little (highly temporary) kitchen stadium being set up at the Paramount Theatre? Were they afraid of the crowds? Nervous about hanging it all out there, vying for ultimate victory, possibly screwing the pooch in front of a thousand rabid fans all screaming for blood and liquor?

Uh...sure. Let's say that's what it was.

In any event, we now have our two brave competitors confirmed. And this year, the chefs competing for honor, glory and bragging rights will be...

Seth Caswell, the man behind the burners at Emmer & Rye. Caswell has spent his entire life in kitchens--doing everything from slicing bagels as a kid at his family's deli and slinging scoops behind an ice cream counter to cooking in Taos (to support his ski bum's lifestyle), going to pastry school, working as executive chef at the Stumbling Goat Bistro (I can't believe I forgot to add the Stumbling Goat to this list!), and now, opening Emmer & Rye. He took time out from his busy schedule of navigating his brand-spankin'-new kitchen through the first few months of opening to prove himself in our culinary Thunderdome. But he won't have an easy time of it, going up against the likes of...

Jason Stratton, executive chef at Spinasse. Stratton got his start at 16, cooking under Bruce Naftaly at Le Gourmand. From there, he moved on to Cafe Juanita, did time traveling through France, Italy and Spain, beefed that up with an additional 6-month sabbatical in Spain (again), then took a gig as co-chef at Jerry Traunfeld's Poppy. He's only been behind the burners at Spinasse since July of 2009, but in that time, he's made a name for himself as one of Seattle's top chefs.

Still, this isn't a battle of resumes. This is all about guts, nuts and talent, with some seriously hot chef-on-chef action planned for the Paramount's stage. If you haven't gotten your tickets yet for this food extravaganza, what the hell are you waiting for? Get over to to the Voracious Tasting and Seattle Weekly Food Awards website right this minute and get that taken care of. Tickets are selling fast, and once we hit the magic number? That'll be all she wrote.

Until next year, of course...

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