A local chef is among six finalists in the Diamond Chef Arkansas 2018 competition. The contest is slated for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 19, at the University of Arkansas - Pulaski Tech Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management Institute at Little Rock.

The UA - Pulaski Tech showcases some of Arkansas’ finest chefs in an EPIC culinary showdown, according to a news release.

The six chefs who were selected to compete against 2017 Diamond Chef champion, Mary Beth Ringgold are: Jamie McAfee (Pine Bluff Country Club), Casey Copeland (The Avenue, Hot Springs), Jordan Davis (Chenal Country Club), Brandon Douglas (Green Leaf Grill), Joseph Salgueiro (Pleasant Valley Country Club), and Coby Smith (Arkansas Heart Hospital).

In October, 14 contestants entered the Diamond Chef Arkansas preliminary competition, Makin’ the Cut, by way of submitting a 1-2 minute video that demonstrated their passion for cooking.

“We launched a social media campaign using Facebook, Instagram and the UA – PTC website to garner participation from the public,” according to the news release. “Three thousand four hundred and fourteen votes from the public narrowed the competition down to 10 chefs who advanced to an elimination round held at CAHMI on Nov. 13.

“The 10 chefs prepared small bites of their signature dishes for executive chefs and local sponsors to taste at a private cocktail party. This event served a dual purpose, to narrow the competition down to six finalists as well as to secure sponsorships before the end of the year. Six sponsors committed that evening,” according to the release.

Sponsorships and tickets are available. Details: 501-821-2771.