Community leaders will compete for the title of “Top Chef” at the 5th Annual Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection Taste of Success Celebrity Chef Challenge. Hosted by Wegmans Food Markets, the event is a unique culinary and networking experience that will benefit Syracuse-area youth participating in the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection program. Wegmans has served as host of this event since its inception five years ago. AXA, a financial services company, is this year’s presenting sponsor.
Scheduled for Thursday, June 9, from 5:30 – 8 p.m. at the SRC Arena & Events Center at Onondaga Community College, 4585 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, the evening’s festivities include tastings featured in Wegmans Menu magazine served by celebrity chefs comprised of high-profile community leaders and well known talent. Tickets are $35 and are available at all Syracuse Wegmans customer service desks and at www.hillside.com/chef.
Celebrity chefs include:
Sandy Baker - Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc.
Calvin L. Corriders - Pathfinder Bank
Judy Cowden - AmeriCU Credit Union
Robert Daino - WCNY-TV Studios
Jack DePeters - Wegmans Food Markets
Chris Fowler - SyracuseFirst
Nate Franz - Syracuse City School District
Marilyn Higgins - Syracuse University
Melanie Littlejohn - National Grid
Wanda Thompson, Ph.D. - SUNY Upstate Medical University
Mike Vadala - The Summit Federal Credit Union
Samantha German, news reporter and anchor with CNY Central, will be the Emcee for the evening. Live music will be presented by PrimeTime Unplugged, and the menu offerings will be rounded out by wine tastings and select craft beers.
The chefs will compete to raise money for Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection in Syracuse. For nearly three decades, the nationally recognized program has helped youth at risk of dropping out to stay in school and successfully graduate while providing invaluable part-time work experience and job skills to help prepare them for life after graduation.
Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection employs full-time youth advocates who operate out of partner schools in the Syracuse City School District. The youth advocates connect students to employment training, college preparation support and tutoring services, while helping them stay engaged in the classroom earning their high school diplomas. The program supports nearly 1,000 participating students in Syracuse City schools.