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Calling All Cooks: Coral Tree Cafe is Holding a Panini Contest

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Photo by stevendepolo via Flickr

Photo by stevendepolo via Flickr
Think you have the makings for a panini so full of panache it should be on the menu of a restaurant? Brentwood's Coral Tree Cafe is counting on it, as they continue to accept entries in their first-ever Panini-Off Recipe Contest.The eatery recently re-opened, exactly a year and a day after they were shut down by a fire that caused serious damage to the restaurant. Having just celebrated their 7th anniversary, Coral Tree Cafe now wants to give back to the firefighters who helped them out in their time of need by conducting the contest as a fundraiser for the LA Firemen’s Relief Association. Here's how it works:

Five finalists will be selected among the pool of entrants and asked to prepare their Panini dish at the Panini-Off Finals held Tuesday, January 19, 2009 before an esteemed panel of judges and peers at the Brentwood café. The event finals will also act as a fundraiser where a portion of that day’s gross revenue will go to the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund which is part of the Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association. The winner of the Panini-Off will have their recipe on the Brentwood café menu board and receive a $250 gift certificate to Coral Tree Café.

The criteria for judging the final entries is: taste; visual presentation; creativity; and panini practicality (easy-to-eat). Of course, you'll want to put together a flavor combo that isn't already on the Coral Tree menu, and be available on Tuesday January 19th for the judging--by a panel comprised of Coral Tree Café co-founder Robert Niksefat, Senior Editor Mar Yvette of CitySearch Los Angeles, Founder of FoodGPS.comJoshua Lurie, CEO and Founder of Chefmakers Cooking Academy Richard Klein, and Co-Editor of LAist Lindsay William-Ross (oh, hey, that's me!).

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To enter, you can download a form from the Coral Tree Cafe's website and email it, or send it via US Mail to

Panini-Off Recipe Competition
c/o RFPR, Inc.
5225 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 718
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Deadline for entry is 5 p.m. Thursday, December 31st, 2009. Good luck!