Northampton Jazz Festival to Host 12 Mile Meal Chef Battle on Sept. 6

NORTHAMPTON — The Sierra Grille will defend its title against challengers Galaxy and Viva Fresh Pasta to determine which restaurant can impress a panel of blue-ribbon judges and build the best 12 Mile Meal: an appetizer, entree, and dessert made with ingredients sourced from farms within a 12-mile radius of the Chef Tent at the Northampton Jazz Festival.

The event, hosted by Rick Gifford, will take place behind Thornes Marketplace in downtown Northampton on Saturday, Sept. 6, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of the Northampton Jazz Festival. Thirty-six VIP Diner Donor seats are available for those who give a suggested donation of $100. Those interested in joining the fun should contact each restaurant directly for tickets to enjoy the cuisine; taste wines from local vintners Black Birch Vineyard, Mineral Hills, and Amherst Farms Winery; and listen to world-class jazz.

The Sierra Grille is a full-service American-fare restaurant in Northampton whose chefs, Jackson Smith and O’Brian Tomalin, won the 2013 12 Mile Meal Cup. It is a destination for those who want to build their own plates from a menu that allows diners to select proteins, sauces, and sides. It features wine and beer selections and hosts live music.

Galaxy is a new restaurant and lounge in Easthampton owned by chef Casey Douglass, who also owns Apollo Grill. Galaxy is a full-service American-fare restaurant and lounge that reflects day and night with a bright white and colorful dining room and a darker but cozy lounge where patrons can enjoy cocktails and the tapas-inspired small plates or full entrees.

Viva Fresh Pasta is a well-known, art-driven, full-service restaurant in Northampton. Chef Xavier Jones has teamed up with co-owners Christine Buchholz and Paul Milani to bring Southern European-style cuisine and a varied wine list to diners sitting under beautiful paintings and prints.

The 2014 Northampton Jazz Festival begins Tuesday, Sept. 2 with various events held throughout the week, leading up to the Saturday, Sept. 6 main festival event from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. in downtown Northampton on Hampton Street. At Saturday’s signature Northampton Jazz Festival event, which is free and open to the public, featured performers will include Etienne Charles & Creole Soul, the Seamus Blake Band, the Champian Fulton Quartet, the Steve Davis Quintet, Hendrik Meurkens and Scott Mullet with the Green Street Trio, Miro Sprague Quintet, and FlavaEvolution. More information on the festival is available at www.northamptonjazzfestival.org.

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