COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — A battle is brewing in Howard County, but it consists of breakfast foods!

The Restaurant Association of Maryland is hosting its first-ever ‘Brunch Battle’ in the parking lot of their Howard County office on April 14 at 8:30 a.m.

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It’s being held outside to account of social distancing as 10 teams compete for cash prizes. Teams consist of a high school student, paired up with a Maryland restaurant chef mentor. Each team has to shop, then cook something for brunch.

WJZ got to meet one of the teams preparing for the event; Anthony Rabelo of Glenelg High School, is paired up with Chef Mentor Zack Trabbold of Hill Culinary. The two are aiming for first place.

“I want to win, winning is cool, winning is fun, everybody wants to win,” Rabelo said.

“We got a great team, in me and him, and I think we got first place in us,” Trabbold added.

Trabbold and Rabelo walked WJZ through their process in the kitchen, preparing a brunch dish different than the one they plan to make next week.

“Chef Zack is the antithesis of the whole angry Frenchman, yell in your face,” Rabelo said.

He added he enjoys cooking with Trabbold and is excited they are paired up together.

“It’s cool to work with a young chef, like Anthony, that wants to get involved in this industry,” Trabbold said, who added he was young when he first found a passion for cooking and now has a restaurant in Cecil County and is soon opening another in Harford County.

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CEO of the Restaurant Association of Maryland Marshall Weston said this event is going to keep people safe outside, but still allow students to experience a real-life cookoff.

“We give them the opportunity to take what they’ve learned, take what they’ve read about, take what they’ve seen videos of, and really put that knowledge into practice,” Weston said.

As the COVID 19 pandemic continues to have effects on the restaurant industry and other small businesses, Trabbold said this is the perfect marketing tool and it’s a fun way to get involved.

“Exposure for restaurants right now, when so many are going out of business, and I think what helps us as we give back to the community and do things like this,” he added.

Cash prizes of $500 for 1st place, $300 for 2nd and $150 for 3rd are up for grabs for the student once the judges make their decision. The winning chef mentor gets the ‘Bacon Golden Ticket’ to compete nationwide in the World Food Championship.

Here’s a list of the participating restaurants:

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  1. Zack Trabbold – Hill Culinary
  2. Kisha Washington – TheKeyIngreient LLC
  3. Jon Miller – Tutto Fresco
  4. Johntay Bedingfield – La Food Marketa
  5. Dan Wecker – Elkridge Furnace Inn
  6. Sean Guy – Water for Chocolate
  7. Jonathan Hicks – The Periodic Table
  8. Chelsea DeVilbiss – Felipe’s Taqueria
  9. Audiel Vera – The Avenue Kitchen & Bar
  10. Steve Klobosits – Kloby’s BBQ

The three judges are Saval Food Service, Towson Hot Bagels and a local food blogger.

Rachael Cardin