Ten celebrity chefs are getting together tonight for the First Annual Top Chef of the Culinary Coast competition at the Rehoboth Convention Center.
They will be cooking up a storm and donating the proceeds to benefit the Meals on Wheels program in the Lewes-Rehoboth area.
The competition will highlight food grown on locally owned farms in the region.
Gretchen Hanson, executive chef at Hobo’s Restaurant and Bar says, " I work very, very hard to make sure that I know who's growing what. I often contract with large fields and as do other chefs." She went on to say, "What this event is meant to do, is to showcase what chefs like Kevin Redding, like myself, are doing to utilize farm fresh ingredients, local suppliers, local venders. And to give us an opportunity to showcase those talents."
Among the chefs participating in tonight's event are Kevin Reading of Abbott's grill, Joe Churchman of Bramble and Brine, Mark Buchanan of The Brick Hotel, Maurice Catlett of Fish On, Paul Gallo of Nage, Ronnie Burkle of Northeast Seafood Kitchen, Robert Iannacconi of the Rehoboth Beach Country Club, Matt Kern of Salt Air and Ciro Verdi of Touch of Italy.
Hanson says that using locally grown food is also about keeping the money in the community. She says, "My child is eight years old and she goes to Rehoboth Elementary School. And in her classroom there are several local children who are children of local farmers that I buy from. It's about the connection of a community, and how everyone works together to make sure that community thrives and survives."
Tickets are $45 and includes not only tastings but two drinks courtesy of Delaware Distilling Company and 16 Mile Brewery.
The funds raised will go to the local Meals on Wheels Program which has served over 100-thousand nutritious meals to 291 homebound citizens.
In addition, volunteers give up over 9-thousand hours of their time and drive 87-thousand miles to make meal deliveries.
This part of the event, says Hanson, is dear and near to her heart. "It matters so much that we take care of our seniors. It matters so much that we take care of our community. It matters so much that we walk the walk."