Alzheimer’s Association’s Rochester and Finger Lakes Chapter recently raised over $75,000 at its third annual Apprentice Cook-off Gala.
The event featured nine dishes prepared by senior living community top chefs teamed with Monroe Community College culinary students as they competed for two prizes, including a scholarship for the winning student.
“The event was a celebration of local talent,” said Teresa Galbier, Alzheimer’s Association, Rochester and Finger Lakes Chapter executive. “It was incredible to witness the amount of pride the students had in their work and their eagerness to tell guests about their creations, and we are so pleased that the community came out and showed their support for this great event and this great cause.”
A panel of celebrity judges gave their award for top dish to Legacy Senior Communities chef Joan Bardossi and students Francisco Rivera and Kalle Higdon for their couscous with piri piri chicken dish topped with tangerine lace and accented with preserved lemon and blood orange.
The judges included master of ceremonies Norma Holland, anchor of WHAM13; Maggie Brooks, vice president of strategic initiatives for Regional Transit Service; Mary Ellen Burris, senior vice president of consumer affairs of Wegmans; Joseph Cipolla, executive chef from The Kitchen; Maureen McGuire, anchor of WROC-TV; and Stewart Putnam, immediate past board chairman of the national Alzheimer’s Association.
With almost 350 people in attendance, the People’s Choice Award was presented to Episcopal SeniorLife Communities chef Dave Watkins and students Jessica Jones-Miles and Bekkah Najeeullah for their Thai red curry chicken dish with mango coconut sticky rice.
The evening featured a drawing from Cornell’s Jewelers, a silent auction with over 70 items and spirit tastings from Black Button Distilling. Guests enjoyed live musical acts by local college performers, including Duo Muerva and The Eastman Saxophone Project.
Proceeds will support programs and services for more than 30,000 area residents living with Alzheimer’s disease along with research to find a cure.