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2016 Taste Sensation Culinary Cook-Off Was a Success!

The second annual Taste Sensation Culinary Cook-Off hosted 240 attendees overlooking Lake Michigan on the front lawn of the LakeHouse Restaurant & Bar.

taste-2016This year’s chef and local celebrity teams included Jeff Noel, Corporate Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs for Whirlpool, who came dressed as Cajun Chef Justin Wilson, and Charley Racine, Executive Chef and Owner of Grande Mere Inn Restaurant; Anna Murphy, President and CEO of United Way of Southwest Michigan, and Cheyenne Galbraith, Executive Chef at Bistro on the Boulevard, each dressed as “This Girl is on Fire” wearing red and yellow chiffon tutus; and Mike Garey, President of Garey Roofing and Mayor of St. Joseph, and Don Smith, Chef at Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant. Both were dressed as French chefs with Garey as Julia Child carrying a rolling pin and a rubber chicken. The evening was a smashing success with the team of Don Smith and Mike Garey (aka Julia Child) selected as the winners for this year’s cook-off.

After the cook-off came the auction, emceed by Brian Maynard, that included an Indy Experience package, dinner for eight at Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant, a Notre Dame Football Experience for four, dinner for eight at Grand Mere Inn, KitchenAid® Stand Mixer and Attachment package, and a four course dinner and wine pairing for eight at Bistro on the Boulevard. The auction ended with Merlin Hanson announcing his family was donating $50,000.

“This year, we raised over $135,000 for the Merlin and Carolyn Hanson Hospice Center,” said Rachel Arent, community engagement leader for Caring Circle and one of the organizers of the event. “We are especially thankful to the 2016 teams who kicked off this fundraising event, raising over $12,500 collaboratively.”


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