Dine Tampa Bay Restaurant Week 2012 doesn't officially start until August 3, but this great event just can't wait that long.  If you think entertaining cooking competitions are limited to the TV screen inside your house with Food Network shows like Chopped and Iron Chef, think again.  Dine Tampa Bay is gearing up to host a Mystery Cook-Off featuring teams of local media celebrities and notable chefs duking it it out for big culinary bragging rights in the Bay area.

It's going down on Thursday, July 26 at the A La Carte Event Pavilion in North Tampa and definitely worth seeing and tasting if you love our local eats as much as we do.

The rules are simple.  Each media personality will be paired with a notable restaurant chef in Tampa.  These teams will get a mystery bag of ingredients, along with a community table full of spices, seasonings and more with the task of preparing a delicious dish in under 20 minutes.

The catch?  The chefs can't cook, handle, or even touch any of the food.  It'll be up to their coaching skills and their partner's cooking prowess to win the title.

Media participants will include Ernest Hooper with the Tampa Bay Times, Preston Rudie with 10 News, Orlando Nieves with CENTRO Tampa, Jeff Houck with the Tampa Tribune, Holly Gregory with Bay News 9 and Jack Harris with NewsRadio 970 WFLA as the event’s emcee.

Professional chef participants will include Tyson Grant with Parkshore Grill, Ryan Mitchell with Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Chad Johnson with SideBern’s, Andrew Basch with Pelagia Trattoria, Parker Stafford with Blue Water Grill, Matthew Mangone with AQUA and Henry Fiorillo with Beachwood BBQ.

If you want to go, tickets are $15 for Tampa Bay & Company and Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association members and $20 for non-members and guests.

To purchase tickets or get more information on the Dine Tampa Bay Restaurant Week 2012 Mystery Cook-Off, visit www.visittampabay.com/meetings.