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Three Chefs Will Compete for Bragging Rights While Supporting Suicide Prevention

From left: Xavier Santiago, Carlos Perez, and Beca Tuinei will compete to find the best food and beer pairing in an event that is also a fundraiser. Courtesy photo

West Hartford will be represented at ‘The Better Half Brewery presents the Chef Showdown,’ a competition to see who can create the best food and beer pairing.


Chefs have been looking for creative and safe ways to bring people together to enhance the overall dining experience.

On Monday, Nov. 9, from 6-8 p.m., Chefs Xavier Santiago, Carlos Perez, and Beca Tuinei will compete for bragging rights at Better Half Brewery. The goal: who can create the best food and beer pairings!

Chefs Billy Grant of Restaurant Bricco and Bricco Trattoria, April Melissa of the North House, and owner of Better Half Brewery Rachel Haseltine will serve as judges.

Chefs enjoy creating experiences for our guests – and this year has really posed a challenge for all of us! We miss the camaraderie and excitement of creating fun dishes for guests and wanted to create an event that let us bring our creativity and give guests an opportunity to learn about our businesses,” said Chef Beca of West Hartford-based Nala’s Kitchen.

Guests will enjoy two small boxed meals plus a flight of beer and a pint from each of the three chefs while they cheer on the competition.

As the winter looms near, many chefs are looking for ways to stay in touch with their community while doing their best to stay busy. “This is a hard year for all of us chefs. It is important that we stick together and find ways to support those that might need an extra lift. We worry about the winter not only for food sales, but staying mentally healthy,”​ Chef Xavier of the Carbone’s Restaurant Group mentioned.

A portion of the ticket sales will go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Connecticut – an organization near and dear to their fellow culinary industry friends.

There will be three ticket levels available:

  • $75/person for 2 small boxed meals + beer; 4-4oz flight of beer and a pint of their favorite beer
  • $70/person for 2 small boxed meals + wine from Sunset Meadows
  • $50/person for just food, no alcohol

Tickets are available online only and can be purchased here.

There will be a silent auction and live music. This event will take place indoors and all attendees must bring their masks.

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