The first ever Loaves and Fishes Naperville Chef Showdown provided a sensory overload as two local chef’s faced off in an hour long cook off. Eddie Sweeney from Catch35 and Daniel Gil From Hugo’s Frog Bar were the head chefs of the event and both were brand new to the experience.
Daniel Gil was very excited to be a part of the fundraiser, “I am so excited, this is the first time that I’ve ever done anything like this.”
Both teams had an hour to make an appetizer, main dish, which included a surprise fish ingredient, and a dessert, which was scored by four guest judges.
Gil was assisted by sous chefs Julie Chirico and Joe Vozar and Sweeney had Nicki Anderson and Mayor Steve Chirico on his side, who was feeling the competition from the beginning. Mayor Chirico explained, “Here is what is going to happen. We are going to kick their butts.”
All in good fun and fitting with the organizations title and the parable, the first course included a loaf of bread and the main dish included…yup, you guessed it, fish. CEO of Loaves and Fishes Mike Havala talks about the event when he said, “Really the point of this is to move forward our mission and transform lives and that really is what this is about.”
Chef Gil was also very excited about helping people in need, “It is a really good experience. Being able to help people in need by doing what we are doing right now… it’s a good experience.”
At the end of the night, Sweeny, Mayor Chirico and Nicki Anderson walked away as the Top Chefs but Havala thinks that there will be more chances to come in the future, “It has already been a great success and we think we can do things bigger and better so we are excited about making this an annual thing for us.”
The event brought in valuable funds for the Loaves and Fishes Mission.
Naperville News 17’s Allie Kaleta reports.
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