The search is on for the best of the best in the restaurant world.
The City of Oskaloosa is so excited to get a new restaurant into a popular space they are giving more than $150,000 in prizes to the winner of Iowa's Best Bite Restaurant Challenge.
Nestled on the south side of Oskaloosa on a rolling 18-hole golf course, Dr. Salami's was a very popular restaurant. It closed a week ago to make room for the Best Bite winner's culinary creation.
"This wasn't the case of an empty building we were trying to fill," said Bryan Schultz, the project manager of the contest. "This is a case of a successful restaurant that we wanted to take to the next level."
The two level, multi-room space boasts wood booths, flat screen TVs, two bars, a private room, large deck and an outdoor music venue.
"It's a great location for weddings and parties. We don't just want someone who's good at food; we need an entertainer," Schultz said. "We are asking for a lot but of course, the prize package is huge."
That entertainer will get free rent for six months, $10,000 in starting food, $40,000 in operating capital, and much more.
The community is ready to welcome the contestants and the ultimate winner with open appetites and checkbooks.
"We've known about this for about a week in the community, and people are very, very excited about it," said Beth Danowski of the Mahaska Community Development Group. "Right away we had people interested in stepping up to become judges and they want to meet the people who are coming in."
She said they have a plateful to offer any chef who wants to make a name for themselves in their industry-rich community.
"Four of the state's ten largest manufacturers are located here, so a lot of industry here that would be supportive of a new restaurant," Danowski said.
Dr. Salami's won't be empty long. The application period is open now through May 6. A winner will be selected by the middle of May and 30 days from then, they hope to have food being served up.