Men cook to help end poverty

Published Feb 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm (Updated Feb 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm)

Snow is still being forecast and the air is often bone-chilling, but daylight stays around longer and that’s a good thing, reminding us of the more pleasant months ahead. Longer days put a spring in our step as we look forward to the many activities planned throughout the South Hills.

A March family-favorite continues to be the Men’s Culinary Classic, held annually in Hall #1 at the Washington County Fairgrounds. Sponsored by Community Action Southwest, this annual outing gives men, women and children not only hours of fun, but great-tasting food as well – all the while helping to support local folks in need.

Welcoming men and boys as cooks, the Eighth Annual Men’s Culinary Classic will be held 6-9 p.m. Saturday, March 9. Tickets are $15 purchased in advance or $20 at the door. Admission for ages 6-12 is $7 and 5 year olds and younger are admitted free.

Plan ahead to enjoy samples of specialty foods prepared by local dads, grandfathers, uncles, sons, brothers and nephews. A variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts will be featured.

Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite by completing the ballot for the People’s Choice Award. Professional competitive eater, “Big” Brian Subich will once again emcee the pierogie-eating contest. Jerry Jerico will spin tunes and WJPA announcer Tony DePalma will be the classic’s emcee.

More than 20 enthusiastic chefs have signed on, a few are previous participants and former champions hoping to retain their titles. Palate-pleasers such as Rich’s Blue Ribbon Potato Salad, Buffalo Chicken Stars, Key Lime Cheese Cups and Townburner Chili are just a few on this year’s menu.

Returning this year are previous winners Fred Kern and his 9-year-old son, Trevor. Fred hopes to get the most votes for his Stuffed Cabbage Rolls this year and Trevor is counting the days for folks to try his Doritos Chicken. “I made Birthday Cake Ice Cream for last’s years cooking show and won for “Best Over-all Dish,” smiled Trevor. “It’s fun to eat, and I love to cook.”

First-timer Greg Guyton hopes to win the crowd over with his wedding soup. Although lasagna is Ben Gorby’s favorite meal to prepare, the 12-year-old will tempt many who harbor a sweet tooth with Whoppie Pies, which Ben says are worth waiting to enjoy.

Thanks to Green Valley Packing, Albert’s hot dogs will be offered free to all ages throughout the evening. New this year will be a photo booth sponsored by Karole Wagner of Celestial Photography. A minimal cost of $5 will provide two strips of pictures with proceeds benefiting Community Action Southwest.

Chinese and silent auctions will feature popular themes such as an autographed Mike Wallace football, Penguins tickets, baskets of gourmet food, pet supplies, spa favorites and adult beverages.

To register as a chef or for tickets to join family and friends at the Men’s Culinary Classic, visit or call 724-225-9550 ext. 408.

Community Action SW

Founded in 1965, the goal of Community Action Southwest is to mobilize public and private resources to deal with the causes of poverty, not just its impact. Community Action provides a hand up, not a hand out. It incorporates self-help and education into its programs and services.

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