RENO, Nev. – Competition in the Big Easy was anything but easy in the Chefs Taste Challenge Farm to Table Experience in New Orleans Friday, Aug. 19 at the New Orleans Convention Center. Reno, Nev., chef Clint Jolly was one of ten finalists chosen to compete in the national competition for the coveted gold and silver medals and fan favorite selection.

Regionally sourced ingredients were selected in a lottery-style drawing prior to the event. Jolly, chef and owner of Great Thyme Catering, along with sous chef for the event, Josh Deri of Blend Catering presented a Cajun Creole inspired Gator Poutine, an alligator boudin blanc with crispy Kennebec potatoes, sweet corn gravy and soft burrata.

“The dish was very well received by the audience and judges,” Jolly said. “The competition was fierce and I’m honored to have been chosen to cook along with these amazing chefs.”

Chef Eric Cook of American Sector – WW II Museum in New Orleans took the gold with his presentation of Sugarshine glazed gulf shrimp and Texas green squash cassoulet. Lee Ann Wong, from Koko Head Cafe in Honolulu, took the second place award with her Thai-style fried quail, heart of palm and Mayhaw chili glaze. Henry Chandler, of Henry’s Louisiana Grill in Ackworth, Georgia, was named Fan Favorite for his Farm Boy’s Feast featuring braised beef inside round with mushroom and chickpea saffron risotto.

Jolly spent the day prior to the event working with young adults at Café Reconcile, a New Orleans restaurant dedicated to training youth ages 16 to 24 contending with generational poverty and violence to work in the food service industry. One of the Café Reconcile students assisted Jolly and Deri with prep during the competition.

“Between the competition and working with the kids at Café Reconcile, I learned more than I taught,” Jolly said. “We had an amazing time in New Orleans.”

For more information about Jolly, view his website at or via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


About Chef Clint Jolly

Born and raised in the family butcher shop, Clint Jolly has a life-long respect for food and where it comes from. With a taste for adventure, Chef Clint travels the globe learning the stories behind why we eat like we do and serves them up in imaginative narratives for the palate. His culinary stories have established Clint as an up and coming national treasure, earning a Best Chefs America designation, champion of Food Network’s Chopped: Restaurant Impossible Challenge and finalist in New Orleans’ Chefs Taste Challenge. A dedicated mentor to high school culinary students, Chef Clint is blazing the trail for future epicurean artists. For more information, please visit

Editors’ Note: Video of Chef Clint Jolly working with the young culinary students at Café Reconcile in New Orleans can be found here:

For further information, contact:

Ira M. Gostin
120 West Strategic Communications

2018-02-05T12:47:27+00:00 August 23rd, 2016|
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