Media Advisory: Food Network Chef Penny Davidi Returns to Iowa Culinary Institute™ at DMACC with her National ‘Chef Penny Cooking Challenge’

Posted 11/8/2022

​Pictured above: Chef Penny (left) works with Iowa Culinary Institute™ (ICI) at DMACC student Caleb Crossett (right) in 2017 during a previous visit to the ICI at DMACC.


Executive Chef and TV personality Penny Davidi is returning to the Iowa Culinary Institute™ (ICI) at DMACC on Friday, Nov. 11, as part of her ongoing national tour called the Chef Penny Cooking Challenge.

Born in Iran and raised in California, Chef Penny’s specialty is Middle Eastern recipes. She has appeared on television shows such as Food Network Star and Chopped All Stars, leading to appearances as a regular on several other Food Network shows. Chef Penny has also appeared on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules. In addition to all her television commitments, Chef Penny serves as a Culinary Specialist for Sysco Foods, the same company that supplies the Iowa Culinary Institute™ (ICI) at DMACC. Chef Penny previously visited the ICI at DMACC in 2017.


The Chef Penny National Cooking Challenge will include four separate teams. Each team will be given a basket of ingredients and asked to prepare a unique dish and served to DMACC President Rob Denson and executives from Monster Energy Drink and Coca-Cola. Chef Penny will judge the preparations.

Separately during her visit, Chef Penny will also join Chef John Andres, Director of the Iowa Culinary Institute™ (ICI) at DMACC, to judge after-Thanksgiving recipes from ICI students while sharing wisdom and tips for better leftovers.


Friday, Nov. 11, 2022

After-Thanksgiving Student Recipes Contest

  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. – Chef Penny and Chef John Andres judge student recipes

Chef Penny Cooking Challenge

  • 1-6 p.m. – Prep and cook
  • 6:30-9 p.m. – Dinner and Chopped Challenge
(Note: The Chef Penny Cooking Challenge is by invitation only. However, members of the media are invited to cover this event at any time.)


Iowa Culinary Institute™ (ICI) at DMACC
(Demonstration Lab & Lakeview Bistro)
DMACC Ankeny Campus
2006 South Ankeny Blvd., Bldg. 7
Ankeny, IA


This event is part of Chef Penny’s national tour to highlight the fun and innovation of creative cooking, competition and culinary results, as well as promoting culinary schools such as the Iowa Culinary Institute™ (ICI) at DMACC. Chef Penny has completed dozens of Cook-Offs across the nation over the past five years.


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