Bon Appetit Magazine Says It Is Not Involved in Chef Contest

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A contest that pits chefs against each other – including three from the Mahoning Valley – has nothing to do with Bon Appetit magazine even though many initially thought it did.

The magazine, in fact, has asked the contest administrators to make that clear.

The winner of the Favorite Chef contest will receive $20,000 and a two-page article in Bon Appetit, but the article will be a paid ad and not the work of the respected culinary magazine.

“Bon Appétit’s name is being used to promote a chef competition that states the winner would receive a feature in an upcoming issue of [the magazine],” reads a statement that Bon Appetit released via Twitter.

“Favorite Chef purchased a paid ad in the magazine that intends to spotlight the winner of the contest they were conducting,” the Tweet continues. “Neither the contest or the feature are [endorsed by Bon Appetit’s editorial department], and we’ve asked them to clarify the terms of the competition.”

The Favorite Chef contest has at least 48 contestants listed on its website,, and possibly many more. Online voting by the public is currently in progress.

It became well known in the Mahoning Valley this week, where many people erroneously believed it had the backing of the magazine.

The local contestants include Mark Canzonetta, owner-chef of Bistro 1907 in downtown Youngstown. If Canzonetta wins, he said he will use the prize money to launch a restaurant incubator in which he will mentor young entrepreneurs who want to get started in the culinary field.

The chef said the contest is still valuable even if it might have misled some into thinking Bon Appetit was the sponsor.

“Anything to bring a positive light to the food industry at this time is viewed as a positive,” Canzonetta said.

“Even if a contest is by a third party, the opportunity to even have a chance to be featured in a national publication along with prize money to expand our vision was enough for us to be excited. Plus, the third party is a notable chef who is donating to Feeding America. There’s nothing wrong with that in our opinion.”

The contest is being hosted by Eddie Matney, a  Phoenix-based celebrity chef known for his innovativeness. Feeding America is a national organization that supplies food banks.

Other Valley residents in the Favorite Chef contest include Erik Hoover of Cockeye BBQ in Warren and Julia Paine, an amateur cook from Poland.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.