This year, the competition will be brought to the West Coast and Southeast for the first time. Once again, Ommegang will have Saveur magazine and StarChefs as its partners. The competitions will take place in the following cities with confirmed dates and locations to be announced online at a later date:
- Miami - April 28
- Boston - May
- San Francisco - June
- Philadelphia - July
- Cooperstown (HopChef Finals) - August
- Los Angeles - September
- New York City - October
- Dallas - November
"More and more people are discovering that beer, more so than wine, is the perfect accompaniment with fine fare,'' said Bill Wetmore, Brewery Ommegang marketing director. "There are so many more flavors to explore and so much more versatility. I am truly amazed each year at the clever concoctions the HopChefs create and just how well they work alongside our beers."
In each city, a lineup of six to eight chefs from leading restaurants will create one dish showcasing their beer and food pairing skills. The dishes, all paired with Ommegang ales, will be served to a panel of judges and attendees to taste and score.
The winner from each city will be invited to the grand finale to compete against winners from Miami, Boston, Denver, San Francisco and Philadelphia at Ommegang's annual "Belgium Comes to Cooperstown" festival on August 9. The winner there will receive a spotlight position on the Saveur Tastemakers board, a spotlight in Saveur magazine & StarChefs.com editorial, a showcase with Brewery Ommegang at the StarChefs.com International Chefs Congress and a showcase station with Brewery Ommegang at the Saveur Summer BBQ, both in New York.
Tickets for each city's event will include samples of each chef's signature dish and accompanying Ommegang beers as well as a commemorative Brewery Ommegang glass. Tickets will be available for purchase online.