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