Curtis Shaver, Hunter Harding 2018 Duel Chef Showdown Champions!

By Jerry Miller, Publisher

Executive Chef Curtis Shaver captured the 2018 Duel Chef Showdown Championship in a stunning upset of Executive Chef Melissa Close-Hart on Monday at Tin Whistle Irish Pub.

Shaver, the executive chef at Hamiltons’ At First & Main and the co-owner of Peloton Station, partnered with Sous Chef Hunter Harding to beat Close-Hart (executive chef at Junction Restaurant) and her husband Matty Hart (executive chef at The Local Restaurant), 188-175, in a championship clash of epic proportions.

“It’s a pretty amazing feeling. It’s pretty humbling,” Shaver said after the victory. “I have a great time at The Duel Chef Showdown. Win or lose, it’s a fun time, but it feels great to be the winner.”

Shaver and Harding won the grand prize: $1,000.

“I love Mel and Matty. They are great friends of mine,” Shaver said. “It was a really fun night. All the food was phenomenal. We had two rock stars working in the kitchen together.”

The 13-point margin of victory was the tightest margin in Duel Chef Showdown history.

The 2018-2019 “Duel Chef Showdown” season starts on Monday, September 10 when Executive Chef Harrison Keevil of Keevil & Keevil Grocery and Kitchen and Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar faces his protege Dylan Allwood, the fabulous Executive Chef of tavola restaurant in Belmont!

Mark your calendars now and buy your tickets at

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Jerry Miller, Publisher

Jerry Miller is the president of VMV Brands and the publisher of and I Love CVille, which are all head-quartered on The Historic Charlottesville Downtown Mall. Jerry is passionate about the #ShopLocal movement and supporting local merchants, restaurants, breweries and wineries. Get to know Jerry at