Top chefs to face off for benefit

Big Brother Jorge with Little Brother NuRah on a fishing trip. Photo Submitted.

Big Brother Jorge with Little Brother NuRah on a fishing trip. Photo Submitted.

— Kids with mentors are also more likely to avoid delinquency and substance abuse, she added.

Last year over 500 matches were made in the Capital Region and it is expected that number will grow to more than 600 by the end of this year. The cost is $200 to support one match for one year.

Event planner for Big Brothers Big Sisters Jami Thompson expects the event to draw between 150 and 200 guests. The hotel can accommodate 190.

“The response has been great … it’s really important to us that the community is aware that Saratoga County does have children in need of mentors and support,” said Thompson.

Over 50 matches were made in Saratoga County last year and the organization would like to make more.

Guests of the event will also be voting in the People’s Choice Award for their favorite restaurant. Samplings of dishes from several eateries will be ready for the voting. A chef from the winning restaurant will be slated to compete against this year’s Chef Challenge winner next year.

Judges for the challenge are Steve Barnes of the Times Union, John Sconzo of Slow Food Saratoga Region and Jasper Alexander of Hattie’s Restaurant in Saratoga.

The chefs will have to wait until the day of the challenge to find out what they’ll be cooking, but they will be able to bring three stock items of their choosing. Similar to the show “Iron Chef,” the competition will focus on one main ingredient and chefs will have one hour to make an appetizer, entrée and dessert.

Both Jaypal and Ireland are recognized within the network of area chefs as being at the top of the culinary scene and for participating in events that benefit local organizations.

“When Big Brothers Big Sisters called me I said, ‘Let’s do it, it’s for fun and friendship and it’s for a good cause,’” said Jaypal.

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