Annual Cocalico Iron Chef contest set for March 1

By on February 4, 2015

The Cocalico Education Foundation will host the Ninth Annual Iron Chef Cocalico Culinary event on Sunday, March 1, at Cocalico High School from 1 to 5 p.m.

This unique event incorporates food, entertainment, and award-winning artwork to raise funds for educational opportunities for students and adults in the Cocalico School District. The theme for this year is “Citrus Sensation.” The education foundation funds classroom projects, early childhood education, technology initiatives, and scholarships for graduating seniors.

 The competition was serious and the treats were tasty at the 2014 Iron Chef Cocalico Culinary event.

The competition was serious and the treats were tasty at the 2014 Iron Chef Cocalico Culinary event.

Two-time Iron Chef reigning champ Chef Kelly Kapinos from Reflections in Leola will defend her title while competing in a lively culinary competition against Chef Michael Harants of John Gross and Co. and Chef Quinn Hacker of Luthercare, Lititz.

Chef Tom Gillin, host of Blue Ridge 11 Cooking for Class and Chef Bill Scepansky of Smart Partner will bring their experience and knowledge to this culinary extravaganza as the emcees of the competition. Corporate event sponsors and local food purveyors will supply many of the fresh ingredients, some of which will be a mystery to the chefs until the start of the completion.

In addition to the Iron Chef culinary challenge, guests will have the opportunity to sample and judge the People’s Choice Competition. The theme “When Life Gives Me Lemons, I Make . . .” will allow the participants to showcase their culinary specialties in this unique contest.

The winner of the People’s Choice will automatically be entered in next year’s Iron Chef challenge. This year seven chefs who will compete for that represent the following establishments: Penn Werner Hotel, Dave’s Diner, Courtyard Café on Main, Naturally Grounded, The Seed, Wellspan Ephrata Community Hospital, and Union Barrel.

A highlight of the event is the food-tasting fair. More than 25 area restaurants and food purveyors will provide samples of their house specialties.

Many students at Cocalico High School are producing award-winning artwork, particularly in the handmade jewelry and ceramics programs. A limited number of these beautiful pieces will be donated to the Education Foundation for the live benefit auction.

Fine art and many other local artists’ work will be up for bid.

Auctioneers Brad Wolf and Art Pannebecker will auction off other valuable items including pottery, hand-crafted furniture, and much more. This year’s judges will include: Mitch Arment of Giorgi Foods and Sean Molignoni, executive chef at Foxchase Golf. An open judge’s seat for the Iron Chef challenge will be up for bid during the event auction. For those who have dreamed of being a culinary judge, now is the opportunity.

A special raffle will be drawn for a chance to win a $500 Weber grill donated by Blue Ridge Communications, an appliance package valued at $150 from Martin Appliances, and a $100 gift card to Weaver Markets.

Disc Jockey Casey Allyn of I105 WIOV will join Voice of the Lancaster Barnstormers John Witwer to emcee the Iron Chef event.

Admission to the event is $15 per adult and $8 per student, grades K-12. Tickets can be purchased at the Cocalico School District Central Office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Tickets can also be purchased at Weavers Markets in Adamstown and Blue Ridge Communications.

For more information, contact the Cocalico Education Foundation at 336-1413 or Detailed event brochures can be found in area businesses.

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