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UCOM hosting third annual Healthy Foods Cook Off as part of Hunger Action Week

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This Thursday, three local chefs will be competing to create healthy dishes using food pantry staples in the cookoffat United Church Outreach Ministry.

Healthy Cook Off Details

When: Thursday, September 12, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Where: UCOM 1311 Chicago Dr SW, Wyoming MI 49509

Who: Everyone! Samples will be served to the public at 5:30 and Judging will begin at 6:00.



Champion of the 2012 Healthy Foods Cook Off, Catherine Behrendt of WZZM's Take Five, and her sous chef/brother Michael Herendeen are returning to United Church Outreach Ministry (UCOM) to defend their title and take on two new chef teams as part of Hunger Action Week.  After deftly navigating her first Healthy Foods Cook Off en route to victory, Catherine is excited to be back at UCOM for another chance to showcase her culinary talents.

Pitting three local chefs against one another in a Chopped style competition the Healthy Foods Cook Off aims to highlight hunger in our West Michigan Communities and challenge the notion that eating healthy and using the food pantry network are mutually exclusive. Using items available at the UCOM food pantry and fresh Michigan produce that can be purchased through the Double Up Food Bucks program a part of a SNAP, contestants are tasked with creating three healthy and delicious dishes.

Joining Catherine is first time competitor and UCOM neighbor Marcelle Lopez.  Marcelle brings her skills and expertise as a caterer to the event and will be assisted by her 8 year old sous chef daughter Mariella Lopez. A longtime home cook and friend of UCOM, Marcelle is hopes to open her own catering company and is looking forward to competing.

The third and final contestant in the 2013 Healthy Foods Cook Off is UCOM Assistant Executive Director Erik Keener.  A veteran of the GRCC Kids Cook Off from many years ago, Erik is the least experienced chef of the group. However, his inexperience is balanced by his intimate knowledge of the UCOM food pantry. Along with the help of his sous chef, Amy Cutler, Erik hopes his dishes will impress the judges and take home the title.

Each chef will have three hours to create three dishes using foods found at the UCOM pantry while also incorporating the event's secret ingredient. After completing their dishes, each chef's healthy creations will be evaluated by a panel of community judges that will score the entries based on creativity, taste, healthfulness, appearance, and use of the secret ingredient.

The Healthy Foods Cook Off begins at 3:00 pm as the chefs start cooking and ends with the judging at 6:00 pm. The event is open to the public and all who would like to attend are welcome. Samples of each chef’s dishes will be available on a first come first serve basis starting at 5:30 pm.

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