Starting Saturday off with a nice walk with the husband and pooch to the downtown farmers' market is always nice. Doubling it up with a guest judge role during the 7th annual Chef Showdown to kick off Dine-O-Round, well, that just rocks.

Chefs Matt Lake of zY restaurant, Erik Daniel of Plum Alley and David Tofte of Pallet rolled out a sampling of appetizers for farmers' market goers to nosh on while they jumped into competition, making a single main dish and one dessert for the on-the-spot competition. And like those famous and wildly popular reality Food Network shows, the chefs had to incorporate a secret ingredient (pears) into each dish. “It’s inspiring to see how SLC’s top chefs incorporate fresh, local ingredients in their dishes,” says Kim Angeli, director of the market. “This year’s competitors exemplify the continued growth of the local food movement on downtown menus.”

And impress they did. Judges Becky Rosenthal of SLC Foodie/Vintage Mixer, Chantelle Bourdeaux of A Priori Foods, Andrew Wallace of the Downtown Alliance and yours truly handed the proverbial gold to Chef Lake for his best overall performance, followed super closely by Chefs Daniel and Tofte. Here's what was on the menu:

Zy's Dungeness crab with cucumber, fresh corn, pear and herbs

zY's basil pear and plum crumble

 Plum Alley's curry and scallops with basil, pear, carrot, fresh corn and pepper

Plum Alley's wok pear and plum with thai basil, honey and Timpanogos cheese

Pallet's New York strip with sweet potato and melon puree and basil pear puree

Pallet's dessert of sauteed pears with a peach reduction and a lemon oil, vanilla bean and water palate cleasner

Hit up zY, Pallet and Plum Alley during Dine-O-Round, which runs Sept. 14-30. More than 40 different SLC restaurants have joined and will feature two-item lunches priced between $5 and $10 or three-course dinner for $15 or $30. For more info, click here.