Chef Kevin Dundon has named the five finalists for his Raglan Road Master Chef contest. Three are from Central Florida and the other two are from out of state. They are:
- Janice Epaillard, Mt. Dora
- Aaron Van Swearingen, Winter Park
- Colleen Kerney, Orlando
- Heather McBroom Walker, Scottsdale
- Linda Rohr, Darien, Connecticut
The five will travel to Ireland on May 21 for a five-day stay that will include a night in Dublin before heading to Dundon’s hotel and cooking school, Dunbrody, in Wexford. While there, the contestants will get cooking tips from Dundon and visit local markets, farms and fishing docks. The winner of the competition will not be announced until October 10 at a special 10th anniversary dinner at Raglan Road Irish Pub at Downtown Disney.
To be considered, all applicants had to submit a brief video describing a three-course menu for the anniversary dinner.
“Total dream come true and i'm still pinching myself!” Swearingen posted on his Facebook timeline after he was told he was a finalist. “Get to mark a big one off the bucket list. Only 3 weeks til this amazing trip, time to go pack!”
Reached by phone, Swearingen told me about his three course meal that he presented, which included deviled “Scotch” eggs, a main course of bangers and mash stew and a caramelized pear tart with whiskey cream sauce. The graphic designer and website developer said he has always enjoyed cooking but had never entered a cooking contest before. He told me that Raglan Road was his favorite restaurant and the one he goes to for every special occasion.
If it wasn’t his favorite restaurant before, it certainly is now.