Congratulations to someone who got her start at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival! Denver-based Chef Leah Eveleigh had no prior experience except that she loves to cook, when she first began serving Filipino cuisine at CDBF. The booth, Tropical Grill Catering, turned into a catering business and a restaurant. She's now a private chef, still caters events and holds cooking demonstrations for groups.
Last year Chef Leah was recruited by the Food Network to compete on "Cutthroat Kitchen," a suspenseful weekly contest of wits hosted by Alton Brown, who also hosts the hit series "Iron Chef America." "Cutthroat Kitchen" is a reality-based culinary competition that pits four chefs against each other through cutthroat strategies, mind games and crazy sabotages dreamed up by host Alton Brown, himself a celebrity chef who’s familiar to viewers as the host of Iron Chef America. Cutthroat Kitchen is a cooking show with many evil twists and turns, in which competitors are given $25,000 to bid for sabotages to inflict on each other while they cook. A judge votes off a chef after each round until the winner is left standing.
The episode featuring Leah aired on January 19, and over 100 fans of the show and of Chef Leah cheered her on at LoDo’s Highlands Ranch as she was forced to suffer daunting obstacles: powering a blender by pedaling a bicycle, creating soup without being allowed to taste the flavor, and being forced to use sardines from a bucket of bait for a fish fry. She overcame each sabotage and won the judge’s approval. The crowd roared their approval when Chef Leah was announced the winner.
Leah's accomplishment celebrates the rich cultural diversity of Denver’s great culinary scene. Chef Leah is the first Filipina on the show to win, and the first contestant from Colorado.
CDBF is proud to be part of Chef Leah's award-winning career!