5/17/2017 10:18:00 AM Youngest chef steals the show at YMCA 11-year-old Gavin Workman wins top award at 'Men Who Cook'
Gavin Workman, Top Chef.
These are the 12 celebrity chefs who prepared dishes for the annual Men Who Cook fundraiser held Saturday evening, May 13, at the Jackson Area YMCA. Ticket-buying diners sampled the chefs’ creations and selected the overall and categorical awards based on their total votes. Pictured (from the left) are participating chefs: Holden Camp, Phillip Henneman, Jeremy Hollingshead (Silver Spoon winner for collecting the most tips), Jim Milliken, Derrick Allison (Best Main Dish), J.J. Milliken, Gavin Workman (Best Overall Chef), Joe Kirby (Best Side Dish), Cody Grey, Gary Tribe (Best Dessert), Mark Nelson, Justin Taylor (Best Soup), and Dan Reymond. (Telegram Photos By Pete Wilson)
If there was any doubt about the fact that at least some men can cook, that myth was firmly dispelled at the 5th Annual Men Who Cook event held Saturday, May 13, at the Jackson Area YMCA.
Twelve local celebrity chefs stepped forward to demonstrate their culinary expertise on the line for the good cause of raising money, which will be used to help retire the mortgage of the Jackson Area YMCA facility at 594 East Main Street in Jackson.
The cooks vied for awards based on how well their particular dishes stacked up against those of the other cooks. Diners, meanwhile, not only supported the YMCA with their purchase of tickets, but also by their tips to chefs, and their participation in a split-the-pot raffle and purchases they had the opportunity to make in a live auction with Dennis Case serving as the auctioneer. For their investments, customers enjoyed a sumptuous dinner with the bill of fare being samples of the dishes prepared by the cooks.
Cooks competed in separate categories of main dishes, side dishes, soups and desserts with the diners' votes determining the winners. When the dishes were off the tables and the tabulating completed, the youngest chef in the field, 11-year-old Gavin Workman, emerged with the Best Overall Chef award for his delicious cream puffs.
Categorical winners were: Derrick Allison (Best Main Dish for his pork carnitas); Joe Kirby (Best Side for his French bread); Justin Taylor (Best Soup for his sausage soup); and Gary Tribe (Best Dessert for his chocolate peanut butter parfait). Jeremy Hollingshead was presented the Silver Spoon award for garnering the most tips.
Other participating cooks were: Cody Grey (potato salad), Matt McKee (pulled pork), Jeremy Hollingshead (fried rice), Holden Camp (chicken tortilla soup), Mike Nelson (chili), J.J. Milliken (chicken tortilla soup), Jim Milliken (shrimp on the barb-b), Ralph Henneman (chocolate mousse), and Dan Reymond (galletts).
Jackson Area YMCA Director Shadra Jenkins presided over the proceedings with the support of YMCA Board President Pat Eisnaugle, and board members Karan Grey and Sandy Borden. Jenkins credited former YMCA Board member Ann Nichting with being the founder of the Men Who Cook event. Grey thanked everyone for attending and participating as the ticket buyers and celebrity chefs all made valuable contributions.
"The chefs were absolutely fabulous," Jenkins told The Telegram. "It was hard to make a choice." She noted that once the Y's mortgage is paid off, fundraising efforts can be directed more toward the expansion of the facility.
Jenkins reported the event $2,557.81. "This was down from last year, but considering it was Mothers Day weekend, we are still pleased," she commented.
In 2018, the next Men Who Cook will be held earlier in the year as a date of March 24 has already been set.