(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A local chef is competing for a grand prize and widespread recognition.
For Regina Calderwood of Gina’s Cafe and Catering in Cosby, cooking plays a key role in her life.
"I learned from a young age," Calderwood said. "When I was really young we were always involved."
Her passion, she said was always seen by everyone who knows her. Friends suggested she enter for the title of Favorite Chef, Calderwood admitted she had no idea how far she’d go.
The contest is driven by votes and as of March 17, Calderwood is in second place.
The winner receives a $50,000 grand prize and the chance to be featured in Bon Appetit, a well known food magazine.
Calderwood said the money and recognition would be the perfect way to turn the page on a tough year, she like many other restaurants are struggling amid the pandemic.
"We have scratched, clawed and made it through, She said. "Things are starting to pick up."
Calderwood said winning the competition would be the "perfect answer" to making her dream a reality."
"My dream is to start a food line," Calderwood said. "People can buy them, take them home and just put them in the oven."
Calderwood also said the win would be good for the whole community, giving the small town some major recognition.
The website favechef.com is holding the contest across the country, the latest round of voting is set to end Thursday, March 18 at 8 p.m.
To vote for Calderwood's restaurant click here.