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Critter Cookoff kicks off BugFest 2010

Frank Ferlo, 2010 Bugfest Critter Cook-off ChampionCongratulations to the 2010 Critter Cook-off Champion, Frank Ferlo, Head Chef of The Big Easy!






Local chefs square off in “Iron Chef” style cook-off to create dishes with a “mystery” aquatic bug, worms, and crickets

Media Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — September 8, 2010
Contact: emelia.cowans@naturalsciences.org; 919.733.7450, ext. 305

(RALEIGH) — Get your taste buds ready, it’s time again for the annual Critter Cook-off, the official start to BugFest 2010. Two local chefs will be going head-to-head for the title of BugFest Critter Cook-off Champion at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The Cook-off takes place September 10, 2010, at 11 a.m. on the first floor of the museum. Media and public invited to attend.

Split pea whole 'hopper soupFacing off for the title are Frank Ferlo, Head Chef at The Big Easy in Raleigh, and Charlie Jones, Kitchen Manager of The Flying Biscuit Café in Raleigh’s Cameron Village. Each chef has 50 minutes to create an appetizer, entrée, dessert and mystery dish using meal worms, wax worms, crickets, dry roasted ants and a mystery bug. The chefs will be vying to wow the judges with their creepy-crawly creations. Each dish will be judged on taste, originality and presentation. The chef whose buggy grub is deemed the most bug-tastic will be honored with the title of Critter Cook-off Champion.

The bar is set even higher this year because the chefs will be judged by a panel of seasoned bug eaters. The judges are Steve Daniels, ABC-11; Karen Clark, Foxy 107/104; Debra Morgan, WRAL; and Zack Lemann, Staff Entomologist at the Audubon Insectarium. Lemann considers himself an entomophagist, people well-versed in the world of bug dining, and will be cooking dishes for the public during BugFest on Saturday.

BugFest 2010, the largest single-day bug centered event, takes place on Saturday, September 11 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with free admission and activities. Friday’s Critter Cook-off will last about an hour, with opportunities to interview chefs and judges and sample the critter concoctions.

BugFest Critter Cook-off 2010

Chef Bios

Frank Ferlo, Head Chef of The Big Easy, Raleigh
Frank started cooking in the early 1980s. Frank points to his Italian heritage for his love of cooking; family gatherings often centered around good food. Frank has worked in many restaurants, both in North Carolina and in New York, as well as owned an Italian Deli and an Italian Café and Bistro in New York. Frank enjoys working at The Big Easy because of what the restaurant symbolizes; good food, good recipes and a good time.

Charlie Jones, Kitchen Manager of The Flying Biscuit Café, Raleigh
Charlie’s love of food is what compelled him to start cooking three year ago. Currently, Charlie is the kitchen manager at The Flying Biscuit Café in Cameron Village. Before coming to Raleigh, Charlie worked at The Flying Biscuit Café in Atlanta.

Judge Bios

Steve Daniels, Anchor, ABC-11
Steve Daniels just can’t get enough of those buggy dishes, returning as a judge for the 3rd year. Steve is co-anchor of the ABC-TV 11 Eyewitness News. Prior to coming to the Triangle, he traveled the country and the world reporting stories for “Dateline NBC.” Steve has also been a contributor on the “Today” show, “NBC Nightly News,” MSNBC and CNBC. He’s won seven Emmys and several other national awards for outstanding investigative reporting.

Karen Clark, News & Public Affairs, Foxy 107/104, Radio One Raleigh
Karen Clark is a graduate of the School of Journalism at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before she began working with Foxy 107/104, Karen pursued a commercial broadcast career, and then moved into the music industry as the Promotions Manager with Columbia Records. After seven years in the music industry, Karen started Something Borrowed, Something Blue, a wedding and event planning company based in Raleigh.

Debra Morgan, Anchor, WRAL
Debra Morgan is a veteran BugFest Critter Cook-off judge. Debra is a two-time Emmy Award winner; 2006 Five Star Award winner; Women of Achievement in Journalism from the N.C. Women’s Club winner; and a Leadership Triangle graduate. Debra is a member of many community organizations like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (Triangle Chapter) and the Caring Community Foundation, to name a few.

Zack Lemann, Visitor Programs Manager for the Audubon Insectarium
Zack Lemann, a former BugFest Critter Cook-off chef, is lending his expertise this year as a judge. Zack has appeared on numerous TV programs, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Maury Povich Show, and The Today Show, introducing the public to his unique passion of bug cooking. Zack travels the world as a “bug chef,” spreading the word about a diet of the planet’s most plentiful source of protein.