Fundraising Event Brings A Celebrity Chef To Jamestown

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JAMESTOWN – A creative fundraiser event for a Jamestown area soup kitchen is bringing a celebrity chef to Jamestown this month.

The St. Susan’s Center is hosting the fundraiser: ‘So You Think You Can Cook.

As Executive Director of St. Susan’s Center Cherie Rowland explains, the local chefs will compete in several preliminary events which kickoff on Monday at the center. A top chef from each night will move on to the main event on January 27 which will be hosted by Celebrity Chef Geoffrey Zakarian at the Crystal Ballroom.

“Each chef during the competition will bring a soup in for testing by the people that come to the center to watch the competition,” explains Rowland. “And each person will be able to vote on that soup and decide which is the best soup.”

Chef’s will be provided with the center’s pantry items to produce their soups. Purchase of a ticket includes samples of soups made by each chef, bread, dessert, and a drink.

As Beth Barnes, a member of the center’s Board of Director explains, along the way, several notable members of the Jamestown community will also take part, including our very own Justin Gould.

“June Dietrich, Patti Centi will also be involved,” says Barned. “She’s also on our committee and her restaurant will be preparing the meal for the event on the 27th, the final event.”

The fundraising event has a big impact, paving the way for the services they provide.

“It helps us serve over 120,000 meals a year,” says Rowland. “So, it’s very important that we start our fundraising early in the year to keep funded for the whole year.”

Rowland hopes the event will match what they were able to bring in with Holiday Haul, around $20,000 dollars, which will help to provide meals for around 125 people daily.

“We serve meals Monday through Friday from 11 to 2:45. Folks can come in and have a cup of soup and a full hot meal. It’s six days a week, on Saturday we’re here from 11 to 1:45,” says Rowland. “Anyone in the community, there’s no questions asked. We only ask that you put a chip in for your age. We won’t even look to see what chip you put in.”

Rowland explains that the goal of St. Susan’s Center is to provide a hot meal as well as community as you eat.

“Sometimes having that relationship with somebody else is just as important as having that hot meal.”

Doors open at 5 p.m. and competition starts at 5:30 p.m. Due to COVID restrictions, only 50 tickets will be sold each night for preliminary events. Proof of vaccination and masks will be required to enter all events on Jan 10th, Jan 11th and Jan 17th.

This event has been made possible with funding provided by the City of Jamestown Fund for Downtown Programming through the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative.


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