Favorite Chef just launched a contest to find, you guessed it, the world's Favorite Chef.  And, Maria Kelly, from right here in Owensboro, is in the running.

This is a GREAT opportunity.  The person who wins the title of Favorite Chef will be featured in an Favorite Chef-purchased ad in Bon Appetit Magazine and win $20,000!  Voting gets underway today and Maria needs our help and, most importantly, our votes.

**The contest, by the way, is not officially endorsed by Bon Appetit**

For entry into the contest, Maria (of local Nona's Market fame) was asked several questions about her history with food and how she honed her cooking craft.  She told FC that she actually started cooking rather late in life.  She says, "We have eight children and somewhere along the line food became our glue."  And that love for preparing food, thankfully for the rest of us, quickly grew beyond the walls of her own kitchen.  She started helping friends with weddings, birthdays and other special events.  Today, you'll find Maria catering a variety of events around the city.

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I can personally vouch for Maria, by the way.  I have emceed and attended a variety of events she has cooked for and catered.  Her spread at the 2019 Red on the River event for Girls Inc. was INCREDIBLE!  And, later that year, my graduating class- the DCHS Class of 1989- hired Maria to cater our 30-year reunion.  It was impeccable.  We had a bunch of food leftover and my classmates and I were hauling doggie bags of food home.

Maria says her signature dish pays tribute to her parents.  Her mom is from Cape Verde.  Her dad is from the South,  So, her signature dish combines flavors from both worlds.  It's Herb Roasted Pork w/ Shell Peas and Rice and Sauteed Greens with peppers and onions.  Okay, Maria!  Everyone reading this is going to want to be adopted into the family and invited for family dinner.
With incredible exposure and $20,000 on the line, Maria is already sharing how she would use the prize money should she win it.  She says, "I would give back first. It's a blessing to be blessed.  I would invest back into my business so we can continue to bring more than just a plate of food to our community."
We're here for it, Maria and we are cheering you on.  We encourage you all to do the same.    Voting is incredible easy.  You can cast YOUR vote for Maria by CLICKING HERE!
Voting to determine the Top 15 gets underway today and runs through Thursday, February 25th.

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