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Thank you for joining us for the 2022 Food Fight. Learn more about the participating teams, judges, and event sponsors below.


Purchase extra voting tickets for $1 at the registration table!

Meet the Teams!
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Thai meatballs with a roasted red pepper puree and shaved carrot and cilantro salad.

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Crispy gnocchi with Italian beef sandwich ragu.

Menu TBA

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Braised Beef Meatball & Gnocchi Masala with Chimichurri

Menu TBA

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Braised beef and vegetables with a Southwestern influence served with roasted poblano potatoes au gratin.

Meet the Judges!

Luke Caenepeel

Luke has been cooking professionally for over 20 years, opening several restaurants including Bread+Bar in Benton Harbor,MI and Staymaker at Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, MI, and is currently the Executive Chef for American Dining Creations at KAR Global.  He has been a featured chef at the Senior PGA Championship in Michigan, featured in Edible Michiana, Edible Indy, Indy Style and Experience Michiana. When not in the kitchen Luke enjoys spending time with his wife Emily, listening to music and going to shows.

Jared Mahnensmith

Over the last decade, Jared has been in the Food Industry as a Dining Services Director at Eli Lilly, a Senior Director of Dining Services at IUPUI, and is currently the General Manager of Dining Services for American Dining Creations at KAR Global. Serving the needs of our clients are of great importance to Jared and Jared thrives on creating a great atmosphere and experience for customers and employees, but nothing competes with the joy Jared shares with his family.  Jared lives in Indianapolis, IN with his wife, Jenna, and two sons:  Miles (3) and Mac (1). 

Michael Brown

Michael Brown has been an integral part of Cunningham Restaurant Group since 2010. Michael is currently a Director of Operation managing a number of the CRG restaurant concepts and locations. Prior to being named Director of Operations, Michael managed at Stone Creek, Mesh & Union 50.

After years of working both front and back of house in restaurants, Michael aspired to attend culinary school to further his knowledge and fulfill his culinary passion. After visiting multiple schools, he chose The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY where he obtained his AOS degree in culinary arts. He also holds a first level certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Outside of his busy schedule at CRG, Michael enjoys spending time outside with friends and family – especially barbecuing, smoking meats & camping.

Carissa Newton

Carissa Newton is the marketing leader charged with managing the corporate brand of Cunningham Restaurant Group, along with 15 restaurant concept brands, 36 restaurant locations, the CRG Event Center and CRG Grow Greenhouse.  Carissa has an MBA from Anderson University and currently teaches Marketing and Digital Marketing coursework at the University of Indianapolis.  Prior to her work in the restaurant industry, Carissa  led marketing efforts in the financial services and technology industries.


Outside of her marketing and teaching work, Ms. Newton is a beekeeper managing an apiary in Hendricks County Indiana.  She also enjoys cooking for her family when they visit and traveling with her husband, now that they are empty nesters.

Thank you to our sponsors!
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