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Community invited to attend SWFL Chef Invitational at Community House

By Staff | Dec 13, 2017

Molly Dunn, 10, cuts carrots during the Young Chef’s Cooking Class Monday, Dec. 4. She is among one of the young chefs who is being paired with a professional chef for the SWFL Chef Invitational Jan. 27. MEGHAN MCCOY

A new culinary experience will grace the Community House next month as six Southwest Florida professional chefs take the stage with seven youngsters who are participating in the Culinary Education program.

“Come out and support us and the culinary program,” Community House Resident Chef Jarred Harris said. “There will be excellent entertainment, top shelf food and chefs looking to impress.”

The highly acclaimed guest chefs include Werner Dietrich from Olde Hickory Golf and Country Club; Wilhelm Gahabka from Bay Colony Golf Club; Steve Joynt from Spring Run Golf Club; Craig Panneton from Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina; Melissa Talmage from Sweet Melissa’s Cafe and John Wolff from Casa Ybel Resort. These chefs will be paired with seven youngsters, Kyler Kouril, Ronan Maughan, Colton Sullivan, Molly Dunn, Preston Hanni, Kennedy Hanni and Kayce Nette.

The SWFL Chef Invitational will treat those in attendance to a sit down small plate tasting due to each chef, student duo preparing one course of the six course menu to be served.

The SWFL Chef Invitational fundraising event will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way. It is $150 per person to attend. All of the proceeds from the event will go directly back into the culinary program at the Community House.

Resident Chef Jarred Harris works with Ronan Maughan, 10, during a Young Chef’s Cooking Class Monday, Dec. 4 on the best way to cut a bell pepper. He is among one of the young chefs who is being paired with a professional chef for the SWFL Chef Invitational Jan. 27. MEGHAN MCCOY

Chef Loretta Paganini will be the master of ceremony.

Hors d’oeuvres, champagne and wine will be served before the event.

Sanibel Community Association Executive Director Teresa Riska-Hall said there has been a ton of time and energy put into this event to make it a great success for the community. She said it was important to them to weave their culinary youth into the event.

“It’s wonderful to pair kids with a chef,” Harris said, adding that it is especially special for the few youngsters who want to become chefs when they get older. “It’s a gala event, a learning experience.”

He said the kids are really excited about the opportunity. Two of the youth, who are twins, were asked by their parents why they wanted to participate in the event. Harris said they wrote a two to three page explanation.

The youth will have the opportunity to work alongside a professional chef before the event to learn the dish, as well as executing the recipe and preparing it for others.

“We will film the kids working with the chef to show during the event,” Harris said.

The night of the event, the youth will have the opportunity to share what they made with the audience, as well as what the experience meant to them and what they learned working alongside a professional chef.

Riska-Hall said they are seeking sponsors for the event. The $5,000 sponsors already on board include Michael Kelly, the Kirkland’s, the Meek’s, the Williams’, Oakes Farm and Gordon Food Service.

Oakes Farm is providing the produce that the chefs cannot obtain from the Community House garden for the recipes.

Less expensive sponsorship opportunities are also available. For those interested, call Riska-Hall at (239) 472-2155.

She encourages the community to embrace the event through a sponsorship, so they can continue to keep a professional chef, such as Harris, at the Community House offering culinary programs for the community.

There will be small parties held leading up to the event, offering other opportunities for the community to donate to the cause.

For more information, or to purchase tickets visit www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net, or call (239) 472-2155.