July 2, 2008. The culmination of an 18-month project closed with a heartwarming tribute and presentation at Lagoner’s Farmers Market on Tuesday.
Anyone who is a fan of television shows Top Chef or Iron Chef can relate to the recent Slice, Dice & Spice NY Pro-Am Chef Challenge held this spring. Several chefs from the area’s top restaurants competed in a good-natured team setting, each creating a winning dish to be judged the best.Cooking in teams of two, the winning team donates their winnings to a charity of their choice, as well as contributes to the Finger Lakes Community College Tourism Scholarship Fund. Food Link’s Chief of Staff, Jill Rowell, was also an assistant on the winning team.
The organizers of Slice, Dice & Spice NY donated their winnings to Food Link of Wayne County, in an effort to highlight locally grown foods and shine a spotlight on the need for more contributions to local food organizations during a time of record food prices.
A formal presentation of a check in the amount of $250 was given to Food Link Executive Director, Thomas Ferraro. Many of the other county representatives were also on hand for the ceremony, including Lisa Burns, Livingston County Tourism; Christine Worth, Wayne County Tourism; Valerie Knoblauch, Finger Lakes Visitors Connection; and Town of Williamson Supervisor Jim Hoffman. After feasting on scrumptious apple dumplings baked by Mitzi Sherman, Christine Worth formally presented the check to Thomas Ferraro.
“We are so proud to donate this money to such an important piece of this industry, and hope it will be put to good use” stated Ms. Worth.
“The mission of the challenge was to get people to eat local foods, to enjoy the produce grown here and to work for a worthwhile cause” explained Ms. Knoblauch.
“It was a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to do it again next year” exclaimed Lisa Burns. A similar event will be held in Rochester in October.
Ferraro thanked the group and explained what would be done with their donation. “Most of what we receive goes to Kids Café, a program where kids learn to cook and we work together to familiarize ourselves about food. Hunger is a symptom” he continued. “You won’t end hunger by just feeding it. We have to create wealth in order to reach everyone. We hope that our programs will teach that, by helping to promote the smaller farmer as well as the well established ones.”
Supervisor Hoffman also expressed his thanks and appreciation for the group’s participation. “It was a world class event which helps profile our area and assists a charitable cause as well.” “It has been a great partnership” added Christine Worth.
The staff at Lagoner’s Farm Market agreed wholeheartedly and were appreciative to be part of the ceremony.