JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) — Community members looking to support the St. Susan’s Center have one more chance to take part in the second annual ‘So, You Think You Can Cook?’ competition.
The final round of the fundraising event will be held Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the St. Susan Center, where three competitors will create an appetizer and entree using mystery ingredients.
First round competitor and Kitchen Manager at the St. Susan’s Center Camille Hodnett says participating in the competition was just like creating menus for the center.
“I plan the menus out for two weeks at a time according to what we have on hand,” explains Hodnett. “But we have so many great, fabulous donations that come in, it’s always subject to change.”
For Hodnett, raising awareness about demand at the center will allow her to continue serving the community by gaining donations and volunteers.
“I always talk about passion meets purpose. My purpose, I feel, is to serve and my passion is cooking so I just enjoy it, I love it and this is my dream job. It sounds crazy but it really is because you’re serving a need, you’re helping someone, and for them to just come and say everything was fabulous, everything was wonderful makes my day,” admits Hodnett.
Executive Director Cherie Rowland says filming a TV show during the fundraising event has been an exciting way to spread awareness.
“The audience gets involved in the production of the show. The cooks of course are right there in the show just living it up, and it has been so much fun and we’ve really enjoyed 716 here at St. Susan’s and it just gives it even more excitement,” says Rowland.
In addition to high quality meals, good conversation is just as important.
“I know we serve the food and everything, but lots of times people don’t know the other services that we have here. So we have the tables where people come and they do the outreach to the homeless, let them know about Chautauqua Opportunities. So we’re getting every business in the community involved in letting them know how we can help, how we can serve and give back,” says Hodnett.
Those attending the last round should expect an entertaining evening, with knowledgeable judges for only a $15 donation at the door.
“They’re giving great descriptions of the food, because us in the audience don’t get to test their masterpieces. But we do get to test their soups. So in the audience, we get to vote on one of the special soups that our three chefs bring in each night, along with, I’m partial to St. Susan’s Center’s soup,” says Rowland.
“So, You Think You Can Cook?” premieres on Channel 716 starting on April 1.