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2023 Healthy Chef Challenge Success

(Pictured from left to right) Michele Zurakowski, Chef Connor Hepburn, Chef Zita Smith
Matt Kosterman

Beyond Hunger celebrated its annual Healthy Chef Challenge for the first time at the fabulous Goose Island Barrel House. A huge thank you to everyone who attended and to those who participated in our silent auction. The generous support of our guests and sponsors will allow Beyond Hunger to continue to provide healthy and nutritious food for our community. Guests enjoyed a delicious selection of bites catered by New Rose Catering throughout the evening.

All chefs were challenged to use healthy ingredients found in Beyond Hunger's specialty food boxes available to individuals who visit Beyond Hunger's drive-through food pantry. Chef YiVy of PHS Desserts Bar emerged as the Victor of Variety, preparing a delicious diabetic-friendly meal, while her competitor, Chef Arshiya Farheen of Verzênay Chicago created a similar vegetarian dish. In the second showdown of the night, Chef Connor Hepburn of The Alinea Group was declared the Master of the Menu for his Latin-flavor inspired plate, while Chef Zita Smith of Zita Cooks Catering, used gluten-free ingredients. 

Thank you to our fabulous judges: Phil Vettel, Emily Hallock, Sam Yousif, and Liz Abunaw.

Another big thank you to Monica Eng, who kept the party going with her amazing emcee skills both in and out of the kitchen.

The event would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors, including First Bank Chicago, Kribi Coffee, Edward-Elmhurst Health, Byline Bank, Forest Park Bank, Goose Island's Barrel House, Music & Potlucks, Pure Squash LLC, and T-Mobile.