Local chef honored at international sandwich competition

Elizabeth Liz Valenti, the head chef, at Wheat Penny Oven & Bar, on Wayne Ave. works nearly 15 hours a day preparing food for takeout orders through the day. MARSHALL GORBYSTAFF

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Elizabeth Liz Valenti, the head chef, at Wheat Penny Oven & Bar, on Wayne Ave. works nearly 15 hours a day preparing food for takeout orders through the day. MARSHALL GORBYSTAFF

Chef Elizabeth Valenti, executive chef and partner at Wheat Penny Oven and Bar, continues to rack up awards and honors.

She recently attended the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, competing in the International Italian Sandwich Competition and took home second place.

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Chef Liz Valenti, co-owner of Wheat Penny Oven & Bar, talked Monday Feb. 28, 2022 about how happy she is that the restaurant industry in Dayton is getting better. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Chef Liz Valenti, co-owner of Wheat Penny Oven & Bar, talked Monday Feb. 28, 2022 about how happy she is that the restaurant industry in Dayton is getting better. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Chef Liz Valenti, co-owner of Wheat Penny Oven & Bar, talked Monday Feb. 28, 2022 about how happy she is that the restaurant industry in Dayton is getting better. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

“I actually made pork, a lot like my mom makes, braised pork sandwich with fennel, oregano and then I sauteed rapini and made homemade ciabatta. It was a great competition,” Valenti said in an interview onsite after winning at the largest show celebrating pizza in the world.

“I’m very proud of that and it’s a big well deserved pat on the back for all of us,” she said in a video she posted on Wheat Penny’s Facebook page after arriving home.

Valentini says that with spring’s arrival she is looking forward to what lies ahead for the restaurant, the Wheat Penny staff and customers.

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People enjoying lunch Tuesday Jan. 25, 2022 at the Wheat Penny Oven and Bar located at 515 Wayne Ave. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

People enjoying lunch Tuesday Jan. 25, 2022 at the Wheat Penny Oven and Bar located at 515 Wayne Ave. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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People enjoying lunch Tuesday Jan. 25, 2022 at the Wheat Penny Oven and Bar located at 515 Wayne Ave. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Wheat Penny has some spring menu changes coming down the road in the next couple of weeks.

“Spring is really here and (I’m) excited as always to do some seasonal menu changes, to challenge ourselves and to provide some new dishes for our customers,” said Valenti.

Currently Wheat Penny has a Early Spring Caprese Salad on the menu made with housemade mozzarella, spice-roasted carrots, shiitake mushroom caps, homemade zhoug (Middle Eastern spicy cilantro sauce) and olive oil.

This win gets added to her “Nourishing the Community Award” that she won in 2021 from the Ohio Restaurant Association where she was honored with 11 other restaurants.

The Nourishing the Community Award “recognizes an individual or organization for their outstanding contributions through community service or charitable involvement.”

For more on this award and an interview with Valenti pick up a copy of the Sunday, April 3 edition of Dayton Daily News.

Contact this contributing writer at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com.

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