Executive Chefs

About Us

Our Mission

Mason Dixon Master Chef, LLC provides unique opportunities for members of the food service industry to showcase their businesses, promote their geographic area, and help their communities through charitable contributions.

Our Story

The Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament was the brain-child of Erik Folkart. Erik is a native of the Baltimore area, an amateur chef, and has nearly 15 years of experience in the food service industry working for Sysco Food Service of Baltimore.

In 2009, the popularity of all the reality cooking shows (Iron Chef, Hell's Kitchen, Top Chef, Cake Boss, etc.) gave Erik an idea to help his clients and suppliers during the down economy - why not hold our own local chef competition at a beautiful location in Baltimore. We can showcase the Baltimore area's chefs and restaurants, as well as the Baltimore area in general, bring business in on traditionally slow nights of the week, expose chefs to unique specialty and gourmet product lines and equipment, and give restaurant suppliers direct access and exposure to some of the area's top chefs and restaurants. And, while we're at it, let's donate some of the money to a local charity, so that we can have a direct positive impact on the Baltimore area.

After talking to several chefs, restaurants and suppliers, Erik realized how excited everyone was about this opportunity. So, with the help of many people, including many generous sponsors who were willing to supply food and financial support, many chefs who were willing to give up their nights off to compete, and many judges who donated their time and expertise, the Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament was born.

Today, Erik is still a Senior Marketing Associate for Sysco Food Service, and is their house expert on specialty, gourmet, and ethnic food products, as well as chef wear and upscale tabletop smallwares and cooking equipment. He is also the founder and co-owner of Mason Dixon Master Chef, LLC with his sister-in-law, Karen Folkart, who is an experienced marketing professional with nearly 18 years of business and marketing experience.

We're very excited about his event, and hope you will take time to read more about the amazing chefs, judges and sponsors who helped make this happen. We also hope we'll see you at one of the upcoming competition nights!