by Anneli Rufus
Emeryville-based Paulding & Company / A Creative Kitchen won the eighth annual Crabby Chef Competition hosted by Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto in Berkeley this afternoon.
In this fast-paced Iron Chef-type contest, crews from noted East Bay kitchens had under half an hour in which to create dishes that included crab and a mystery ingredient, revealed at the last minute: artichoke. Contestants included Skates by the Bay, Montclair Bistro, Caffe Venezia, and many more, with student chefs from Diablo Valley College and Contra Costa College making impressive showings. Paulding & Company is a catering business that also offers cooking classes; its founder Terry Paulding started working in the food industry as a teen. She began as assistant to chef Alice Brock of Alice's Restaurant in Stockbridge, Massachusetts - the restaurant featured in the Arthur Penn movie (and Arlo Guthrie song) of that name. The Cal Recreational Sports Development Fund's Camp Scholarship Program received a check for $2,000, a portion of the proceeds from food booths that were set up at the festival. Congrats, chefs!