SPAC Launches “Home Rangers” Amateur Chef Competition




Competition is part of BlueStarry Nights @ SPAC, a pre-performance gourmet tasting event

On Thursday, July 13, Saratoga Performing Arts Center will launch “Home Rangers,” the first match-up of a spirited cooking competition featuring amateur chefs testing their cooking skills on BlueStar ranges on SPAC’s lawn, prior to classical performances. Altogether, six home cooks will compete on four evenings - preliminary rounds on July 13, Aug. 3, 10 and a semi-final on Aug. 17 – for the chance to advance to a final contest against celebrity chef Suvir Saran and win a $3,600 pro-style BlueStar range. This week’s competition will take place at 6 p.m. on the lawn, prior to the 8 p.m. performance of New York City Ballet.

The cook-off is part of a larger promotion called BlueStarry Nights @ SPAC, a pre-performance tasting event offering guests samples of craft beers and spirits and gourmet edibles, all free as part of admission to the evening’s classical performance. Samples will be provided by vendors including Mionetto, Saratoga Courage, Wine World Wide, Albany Distilling and Davidson Brothers.

The amateur chef series is an evolution of a promotion that was previously known as the Grill Games. One of the contestants for this year’s Home Rangers will be Ryan Moore of Saratoga Springs, who won last year’s Grill Games and will return to defend his title. The other five home cooks have been selected from entrants who submitted proposed two-course menus to Steve Barnes of the popular Times Union food blog, Table Hopping, a co-sponsor of the competition along with Adirondack Appliance.

The cooks will have one hour to prepare two courses using a provided BlueStar range. Their creations will be judged by Steve Barnes and Tom Thibeault, owner of Adirondack Appliance.

The three winners from the preliminary events will compete against one another in the Home Rangers semifinal on Aug. 17. The top home cook will be invited back to the final, being held Sept. 9 during SPAC’s annual Saratoga Wine & Food Festival, where he or she will compete against BlueStar celebrity chef Suvir Saran, an accomplished chef, cookbook author, educator as well as a farmer who specializes in bringing Indian cooking to the American kitchen. He has appeared frequently on national broadcasts including as a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and as a judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef.

The winning home cook will also receive four all-access VIP passes ($1,000 combined value) to the food and wine festival.

For more information and tickets to the July 13 performance of New York City Ballet at SPAC, visit or call the Box Office at 518-584-9330.


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