All of the votes have been counted with care, and we now know which chefs scored the "People's Choice Best Chef" and "Judges' Best Chef" awards in Dayton, as decided by the Dayton March of Dimes Signature Chefs event held Monday night at the Schuster Center in downtown Dayton.
Wait, did we say "chefs?" Actually, for the first time in organizers' memory, the SAME chef scored both the people's choice and judges' awards this year, but you may have trouble finding his restaurant on Facebook. The clean-sweep winner was Scott Pobuda, the executive chef of catering at the University of Dayton.
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“This has never happened,” said Jackie Allen, senior development manager for the March of Dimes Greater Dayton Market.
The dish that wowed both the judges and the 300-plus attendees of the annual fund-raising event was Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Port Wine Demi-Glace, Oven-Roasted Oyster Mushrooms and Butternut Squash Mashed Potatoes.
(I served as a judge again at this year’s event, and Pobuda’s dish won my vote, too — for what it’s worth!)
>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Who is Dayton's 'Best Chef?' The answer may surprise you. (October 2017)
Prior to joining UD in 2015, Pobuda served as executive chef at NCR Country Club, luxury suites chef at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, executive sous chef at Trailsend Club, sous chef at l’Auberge, and in the kitchen of the Maisonette in Cincinnati. His culinary training includes the Culinary Institute of America and Johnson and Wales University.
>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Competition crowns the two best chefs in Dayton (October 2018)
This was the 16th year of the Signature Chefs Auction event, which for several years running has drawn a sellout crowd of between 350 and 400 people to the Schuster Center’s Wintergarden.
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The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality.