By Karen Jarvis
Who doesn’t love a man who cooks? Even better, how about 23 of them all in the same room serving up their favorite dish?
The third annual Men Who Cook is a fiery cooking competition to please your palate and raise much-needed funds for families in need. The annual signature event for the Family House in Winston-Salem welcomes locally recognized men as they take on the role of celebrity chef on Saturday, March 18, at Bridger Field House.
They will prepare and present their culinary delights in a food festival setting as a truly delicious way to celebrate and support the Family House as it provides affordable lodging and support services for adult patients and their caregivers who travel to Winston-Salem for medical treatment.
“We have some incredibly talented culinary artists in our community. You will never know these are not professional chefs,” said Kathy Carr, executive director of SECU Family House. “We are so thankful for the men and their sous chefs that dedicate their time, talents and love of food to help us raise money. It’s certainly an event not to miss.”
Opened in 2011, 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 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.
“Knowing that I had a safe, comfortable and affordable place to sleep at night that wasn’t far from the hospital was huge,” said Holly Bautista, recent Family House guest. “Not only that, but it provided peace of mind for my husband as he was recovering. Having a friendly face to greet me and listen to me was also a big deal. There were days that it was hard to hold it together and having friendly staff was instrumental in keeping me sane.”
The Family House has hosted folks from 94 North Carolina counties and 38 states, and over 27,000 patients since opening. 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. Last year’s event was a huge success, netting more than $130,000.
Amateur chefs scheduled for the evening include a church leaders, a fire chief and a football coach. Wake Forest Football Coach Dave Clawson, Winston-Salem Fire Chief Trey Mayo, and Priest Steve Rice from St. Timothy’s Episcopal partnered with Rabbi Mark Cohn from Temple Immanuel will participate, along with numerous other talented local amateur chefs and their sous chefs.
A sampling of dishes on the menu are Mayo’s smoked saltwater white perch spread, Clawson’s Deacon Turkey Sliders, spaghetti ala Allegacy from Paul Phillips, Allegacy Federal Credit Union, and barbecue from returning winners David Barksdale, First Reliance Bank, and John Millican, Salem Group.
Four judges’ prizes and a people’s choice will be awarded to winning chefs. Early online voting for the People’s Choice award is available now at familyhousews.org.
Wooden Spoon sponsorships are available for $250, which includes two reservations and a listing in the souvenir program. Event reservations are $55 for one or two for $105. Contact Ainsley Darnell at the SECU Family House at 336-793-2822, or firstname.lastname@example.org.