BY KAREN JARVIS
Beth Juran considers her husband to be the more adventurous chef in the family.
“Peter prefers to cook foods from other countries, it doesn’t matter to him,” said Juran. “I typically do the day-to-day cooking and am not that adventurous.” That’s why it wasn’t a surprise when her husband decided to prepare Cambodian fish amok for last year’s Men Who Cook fundraising event to benefit the SECU Family House.
“We had to find the Asian specialty store for ingredients, get plenty of fish for the recipe and make sure we had made enough to feed more than 100 guests,” said Beth, who will serve again as her husband’s sous chef. “Peter is preparing Bora Bora pineapple upside down cake this go-around and cooking it in Dutch oven pots. He will definitely add his unique twist to it!”
The second annual Men Who Cook competition showcases the talents of local male celebrity chefs and their teams as the Family House hosts its popular fundraiser on March 18th at Bridger Field House. About 325 partygoers will taste savory samples crafted by the amateur chefs and vote for their favorite ones through tips that are donated to Family House. Last year’s inaugural event was a huge success, netting more than $100,000.
“We are so thankful for the 20+ men and sous chefs that dedicate their time, talents and energy to help us raise money for the Family House,” said Kathy Carr, executive director of SECU Family House. “The kitchen, sharing a meal is definitely the heart of our homes and such a large part of the services that Family House provides its guests. Men Who Cook is a perfect way to celebrate our mission of providing assistance to adult patients and caregivers who are going through difficult health crises.”
The 45-room Family House is truly “more than just a place to stay.” Patients and their families coming to Winston-Salem for out-of-town medical care have an affordable, comfortable alternative to a hospital waiting room or an expensive hotel to lay their heads at night. The Family House staff provides friendship and support for adult patients and caregivers who have been referred by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center or Hospice and Palliative CareCenter.
The Hanckel family from Virginia is one of those referrals. “Thank you for creating this community of love and support to be used by those who come here when it is most needed,” said the Hanckel family. “Yes, we are so glad there was room for us ‘at the inn.’ This has been a journey we have taken together every step of the way, and by the grace of God, we have made it thus far. This welcoming place — the ‘Family House’ — has offered us a gracious place of hospitality and comfort. We are grateful for the many kind people we have met here — staff and other guests.”
The Family House has hosted folks from 92 North Carolina counties and 36 states and has served more than 22,000 overnight guests since opening in 2011. For guests unable to afford the nominal overnight fee, a Family House assistance fund is available, thanks to donations and events like Men Who Cook.
“Even though we are amateur chefs, we certainly enjoy cooking and are honored to share our love of food to raise money for Family House,” said Kevin Kampman, Winston-Salem Journal publisher and event co-chair along with his wife, Deb. “You truly cannot beat the intensity and fun we whip up at this event, and facing off against more than 20 chefs, we can certainly relate to the fiery cooking competitions on television.”
Men Who Cook chefs create their own recipes, from appetizers to desserts, and are allowed a sous chef for assistance during the evening. Four judges’ prizes and people’s choice will be awarded to winning chefs, and early online voting is also available to help determine the people’s choice.
Amateur sports chefs slated to appear include Wake Forest Football Coach Dave Clawson, former Wake Coach/Player “Big Daddy” Bill Faircloth and WSSU Football Coach Kienus Boulware, who is whipping up his famous cheese dip. The heat will be on between Winston-Salem Fire Chief Trey Mayo and Winston-Salem Police Chief Barry Rountree, along with Mayor Allen Joines, who is bringing his own adventurous cooking spirit to the table with Batengen Yaghnee, a Lebanese Eggplant Lamb Stew.
“There is truly a good energy at this event, for the chefs and attendees,” said Juran. “It’s good, clean fun competition with some little rivalries already going on. There is a People’s Choice award, with donations accepted online ahead of the event, and, since Peter likes a good challenge, he is going all out for that!”
Wooden Spoon sponsorships are available for $250, which include two reservations and a listing in the souvenir program. Event reservations are $55/person or two for $105. Contact Ainsley Darnell at the SECU Family House at 336.793.2822 or email@example.com.