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Cooking Contest Benefits St. Susan Center

A fundraiser to benefit St. Susan Center will take place Thursday, Jan. 27, featuring celebrity cook Geoffrey Zakarian.

If you’re a fan of cooking shows, St. Susan Center has a fundraiser that might entice your palate.

On Thursday, Jan. 27, starting at 5 p.m., the finals of the St. Susan Center “So You Think You Can Cook” fundraiser will be happening at the Crystal Ballroom, located at 110 W. Third St., Jamestown. Three finalists who won preliminary cooking events at St. Susan Center will be competing during the event that will feature celebrity cook Geoffrey Zakarian, who has appeared on the Food Network’s “Chopped” and “The Kitchen” and is the author of four cooking books. A single ticket for the event costs $75, two for $125 and a table of eight for $500. For more information, call 716-664-2253.

Cherie Rowland, St. Susan Center executive director, said the fundraising idea featuring the cooking competition was the brainchild of Cindy Saxton, Beth Barnes and Pati Centi, St. Susan Center board members.

See COOKING, Page A3

Cooking

From Page A1

“Two years ago, just before COVID happened, they got a hold of Geoffrey Zakarian and asked him if he would like to host ‘So You Think You Can Cook,'” Rowland said. “It has been two years in the making. (Zakarian) has been gracious enough to hold on during the pandemic to still attend.”

During the final event, the cooks will prepare three courses using ingredients straight from the St Susan Center kitchen, in addition to well-known local ingredients. People attending will be able to watch the three finalists compete and listen to Zakarian and the judges critique their cooking. The attendees will also enjoy a meal by the Landmark Restaurant.

The three preliminary rounds have featured three to five cooks. The first competition was won by Matthew Ingrao, head chef at Olives and Bellini’s at the Chautauqua Suites Hotel in Mayville. The second competition was won by Julie Solinger, who is a home cook and third-grade teacher in Sherman. The third competition winner, which hadn’t been determined as of Monday afternoon, will join the first two winners for the finals.

“They compete and cook right in front of the crowd,” she said.

Rowland said St. Susan Center is hoping to raise $20,000 from the fundraiser competition.

“This will support the St. Susan Center for a good long time,” she said.

Sponsors for the event include the city of Jamestown’s Fund for Downtown Programming, Jamestown Local Development Corp. and state Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

“Thanks to all of the sponsors, all of the members of the board and people who are not members of St. Susan who have worked really hard to bring this event to Jamestown,” she said.

Rowland said the St. Susan Center feeds about 120 people each day. She said they serve food from 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 1:45 p.m on Saturday.

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