Steel Chef Challenge raises $290,000 for NH Food Bank


34p1.previewThanks in large part to Comcast’s relationship with Food Network celebrity Chef Robert Irvine, the New Hampshire Food Bank hosted its first-ever Steel Chef Challenge earlier this month, raising more than $290,000 in cash and in-kind donations, making it the largest fundraiser in NH Food Bank history.

Irvine, of the popular Food Network program Restaurant: Impossible, hosted the event, which took place at NH Food Bank headquarters in Manchester and boasted a live auction, a grand dining experience, and a timed cooking competition between three New Hampshire chefs. Sponsored by Direct Capital and Comcast, the Steel Chef Challenge drew more than 400 guests and volunteers.

“We are thrilled with the success of the Steel Chef Challenge and we are tremendously grateful for this incredible support,” said Mel Gosselin, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Food Bank, a program ofCatholic Charities NH.

“We were so excited to have the opportunity to host Robert Irvine and his team and we are gratified that we were able to raise $290,000 in cash and in-kind donations to support the more than 143,200 people in New Hampshire who do not know when or where their next meal is coming from.”

With the need growing, the NH Food Bank’s food distribution exceeded 12 million pounds in 2015. The NH Food Bank supplies more than 400 statewide partners with approximately half of the food they distribute to the 1 in 9 men, women and children who are food insecure in New Hampshire.

The NH Food Bank is able to provide two nutritious meals for every $1 donated and receives no state or federal aid for food distribution.

Irvine, who acted as host and auctioneer, has more than 25 years of experience in the culinary profession. In Restaurant: Impossible, Irvine saves struggling restaurants from across the country by assessing and overhauling the restaurant’s weakest spots.

Irvine was previously the host of Food Network’s Dinner: Impossible and Worst Cooks in America. Irvine, who has taken part in other food bank fundraisers across the country, has also written two cookbooks, and one healthy living book. The NH Food Bank expects to host a similar event with a Food Network personality next year.

During the Steel Chef Challenge, chefs Stuart Cameron of the Hanover Street Chophouse, David Crinieri of the Tuscan Kitchen, and Julie Cutting of CURE Restaurant, were charged with preparing a dish incorporating salmon, pig’s feet andLucky Charms in 20 minutes.

The panel of judges, which included Michael Buckley, owner of Michael Timothy’s Dining Group, WMUR news anchor Erin Fehlau, and Craig Pierce of Martignetti Companies of Northern New England, praised all three dishes but ultimately chose Crinieri as the winner.

The NH Food Bank is very grateful to the many New Hampshire chefs, businesses, individuals, volunteers and students who helped to make the event possible.

Source: Argus Champion

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