TAKING THE MUDDY CHEF CHALLENGE | LAND ROVER GLOBAL

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TAKING THE MUDDY CHEF CHALLENGE

10 AUGUST 2016

Since 2008, Land Rover enthusiasts in the North East have been having fun cooking and camping in the annual Land Rover Muddy Chef Challenge.. This year’s challenge at Lime Rock Park, CT was a culinary overload, says Bill Gonyea, General Manager at Prestige Land Rover, the event’s title sponsor.

What is The Muddy Chef Challenge?

This is passionate, die-hard Land Rover enthusiasts getting together in the picturesque grounds of Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut for three days of cooking, camping and a lot of fun. It’s been going on since 2008 and this year there were around 110 Land Rover vehicles with owners, families and friends attended, over 350 attendees in total. They hold lots of off-road adventures, seminars, fancy-dress parties, vendor displays and plenty of sampling of adult beverages around the campfire. It really is a fun event. The organizers like to describe it as Top Gear meets Top Chef.

 

Why the big focus on cooking?

The guy who founded it, Eric Yohe, is a passionate Land Rover enthusiast and an equally passionate foodie. I think it started out as a few friends taking their Land Rover vehicles camping and having fun cooking out. It has grown from there. Now, over the Muddy Chef Challenge weekend, there are two major cooking competitions with teams having to prepare gourmet meals using only locally-sourced ingredients, and only using cooking equipment they can carry in their Land Rover vehicles. It was amazing how elaborate some of the kitchens were, with huge tents and grills.

Who takes part in the event?

Passionate Land Rover enthusiasts, first and foremost. These are mostly Heritage enthusiasts who brought along their Defender, their 110s and 90s, their Series II, their LR3 and Discovery vehicles. It also draws in owners with newer LR4 and Range Rover vehicles. They come along with their families and friends, set-up their tents and focus on having a great time.

Prestige Land Rover was the title sponsor. Why does the dealership get involved?

This was our first year as title sponsor. The main attraction for us is the opportunity it gives us to increase exposure for our new models. We trucked-in twelve new Land Rover vehicles – Discovery Sport, LR4, Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport. We also provided a few LR4 vehicles for the organizers to use as shuttle vehicles to move people around. We had test drive opportunities during the weekend and on the Thursday before the challenge, we held an off-roading event for customers at the nearby Orvis Sandanona clay-shooting grounds in Millbrook, New York.

You were also a judge in the cooking contest. How was the experience?

Both myself and Chris Turner, who is President of the Prestige Group and owner of a restored Land Rover Defender 110, were judges for the Saturday night contest. You have to remember that over 90 teams take part, that’s a lot of food to taste. Then there’s the added dimension that they pair most of the meals with a different beverage from some of the event sponsors, like Hillrock Estate bourbon or Thomas Tew rum. It was a long night.

Will you be back next year?

Most definitely. We’ve already had meetings with the organizers talking about ways the event might grow and how they might widen the appeal. I really do think it has the potential to be a much larger event in the future.

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An afternoon of Polo at the Fairfield Hunt Club, Westport, CT ~ Aug 28, 2016

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Join Arkonik and The Muddy Chef Challenge crew for an afternoon of Polo.   This is the sixth annual Gold’s Dragoons Polo Cup match.  Watch Gold’s Dragoons battle Squadron A.   Come early so we can park alongside each other and tailgate in style!  Pack your Yeti coolers and grab your pop-up canopy, lunch baskets, and head out for an amazing afternoon of polo.  

The match is held at the Fairfield Hunt Club.  Located at 174 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880.  Tailgating starts at 1:00 and match play begins at 3:00.  Prizes are awarded for the best ladies hat and the best tailgate.   As this is a Muddy Chef Challenge affiliated event, the price of admission is – FREE!

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Don’t want to pack a lunch or cooler?  No worries, you can buy drinks and a catered lunch at the club.  The lunch is $25.00 for adults and $15.00 for kids.  

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Land Rover stopped manufacturing the Defender on January 29, 2016.  After being produced in various forms for the past 68 years, the iconic Defender – the quintessential safari vehicle is no more.  What’s a US based enthusiast to do?  Have you seen the prices on e-bay?  Huge sums for Defenders in a wide variety of conditions – from rusted out hulks to “brand new” models of dubious legal status.   We’re talking serious risk and serious money.  What can a potential buyer do to find and purchase the Defender of their dreams?  Have one custom made.  Your color, your options, your ideas, your dreams.  Arkonik is dedicated to creating the finest Land Rover Defenders in the world.  100% legal for import to the United States.  

Visit with Tom Maxwell of Arkonik at the polo match to learn more (and perhaps take a test drive) in one of their bespoke Land Rover Defenders.  

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Schedule of Events

WEDNESDAY July 27, 2016

Activity:

Staff arrives, headquarters tents are setup, banners, flags and signage erected, assorted pre-event activities (vehicle placement, radio setup, media room setup, welcome bags, computer technology, registration, fire pits, etc.). All vehicles should be on site on this day. Vendor Village spots assigned and marked.

THURSDAY July 28, 2016

Activity:

10:00 – Gates open, registration begins, participants arrive. All staff will already be on site. Campers and vendors’ setup – this will take most of the day.

1:00 – 3:00 Driver Training and Technical Sessions (not presentations)
3:00 – 4:00 Tour of Lime Rock Park and Track Laps (Land Rover SVR and Jaguars)

5:00 – 6:00 Arkonik presentation in Orange Tent

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6:00 – 7:00 Complimentary BBQ in Green Tent
7:00 – close Vendor Village opens

8:00 – 9:00 Will Hedrick “Defender of Defenders” presentation Orange Tent

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9:00 – 13th Street Cocktails will open the bar, bonfires, cigars, etc.

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FRIDAY July 29, 2016

Activity:

6:00 – Expert off-road trip departure – Ma Bell, Northampton, MA
7:00 – Coffee with Staff
9:00 – Duct Tape Genius Contest.  Participants divide into teams
10:00 – Depart for Orvis Sandanona and other off-road destinations
2:00 – 3:00 All groups back at LRP to change into cocktail attire
3:00 – Depart for Hillrock Estate and The IRON Muddy Chef Challenge

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4:00 – Contestants setup for the IRON Muddy Chef, attendees tour distillery,
5:00 – 6:00 IRON Muddy Chef Challenge begins
6:00 – Judging and Prizes
7:00 – Depart for LRP (dinner is on you own)
9:00 – 13th Street Cocktails – open bar, cigars, bonfires

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SATURDAY July 30, 2016

Activity:

6:00 – Expert off-road trip departure – Old Florida Road, North Adams, MA
7:00 – Coffee with Staff
9:30- Depart for Crown Maple/Madava Estate for Off-Roading

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12:00 – Lunch on your own or can be bought at Crown Maple
3:00 – Return to Lime Rock Park
4:00 – 7:00 Muddy Chef Challenge begins
8:00 – Charity raffle ends 
8:01 – 13th Street Cocktails – open bar, cigars, bonfires

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July 31, 2016

Activity:

9:00 – “Recovery” – Coffee with Staff

10:00 – Muddy Chef Awards and Prizes and Raffle Winner Announcement

11:00 –  The famous parade lap around Lime Rock Park!

12:00 – Departures

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Timothy DiPietro / SPONSOR PROFILE

Proust/Solihull Questionnaire

If Land Rover made an aircraft would you fly in it?   Why/Why Not?

My dream plane is a Grumman Albatross, which is a 1950s/60s era amphibious “flying boat”, probably the closest comparable plane to a Land Rover from an aesthetic and reliability standpoint, so yes I would fly in it, but given my track record, my wife would kill me before it could.

Tell us a little about your background, your career, and where you live.

After graduating from Dickinson College in 2006, I moved to NYC where I worked as an Insurance Underwriter focused on Private Equity and Venture Capital. After 6 years as an underwriter, I moved to the Brokerage side and joined Bullen Insurance Group in 2012. I recently moved back to my childhood town of Locust Valley NY on the North Shore of Long Island.

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Can you tell us a bit about your company?

BuBullen Insurancellen is a boutique brokerage that for over 100 years has specialized in providing creative insurance solutions for affluent families. With this specialty we are exposed to many beautiful homes and collections, but my favorite component is working with our Collector Car enthusiasts. From vintage Land Rovers, to some of the rarest vintage Ferrari’s in the world, each car and the story that comes with it is a unique and exciting experience.

 

How many Land Rovers have you owned and which was your favorite?tim d defender

When we moved out of the city, I purchased a 1995 Defender 90. It had been my dream car since early childhood.

What’s the best thing about owning a Land Rover?

Aside from the joy that comes from driving my dream car, the comradely of owners is unique. I always enjoy meeting another owner and comparing notes. Seeing my two-year son turn into an enthusiast is pretty high up there as well.

What’s the worst thing about owning a Land Rover?

That my dad’s mechanic was correct when I first looked at one with him 15 years ago, they break all the time and aren’t cheap to fix!

What upgrades/modifications does your Land Rover have?

By forced choice, replaced 3.9L with 4.6L, new trans, brakes, shocks, hoses, wiring etc. Shout out to Chris Viola, Rovertek, for saving my ass on  new engines and repairs, without you I would have had to sell my 90 for scrap

If you were on safari which three (living or dead or fictional) people would you pick to bring along?

My grandfather would be my first pick. He spent many years in Africa and had a concession in Botswana. He was an ace shot and had an amazing game room filled with heads and other collections and images from Africa. Hemingway is a tough one to pass up as a second, and of course my travel partner and wife as the third!

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Will Hedrick / The Defender of Defenders / MCC Speaker

We are very excited to announce super lawyer Will Hedrick will be a featured presenter at The Muddy Chef Challenge.  Remember that Thursday July 28, 2016 is more than an an arrivals day.  There will be a free pig roast, beverages (always), vendors and activities – off-road training, recovery training, and featured speakers – like Will.  So plan ahead to arrive early and attended these new events.  Gates open at 10:00 am this year.

Will is called “The Defender of Defenders” for his work with owners who have had their vehicles improperly seized by Homeland Security.  Will took on the case pro-bono and won.  More than two dozen Defenders were returned to their owners.  Join Will and the MCC Staff on Thursday July 28th for his presentation.  It’s going to be awesome!

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Fox News covers the story:

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Article in Hemmings Motor News:

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And of course, on Jalopnik:

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This is the famous video of Homeland Security destroying an “illegal” Land Rover Defender: