Local amateur chefs to sizzle in charity competition

(Photo: CONTRIBUTED BY TARA JACOBS)

STUART — The Inaugural Top Chef Martin County charity event debuts April 29 at St. Joseph’s Family Center in Stuart from 7 to 10 p.m.

Local amateur chefs Kelli Allison, Jean Cerniglia, Adam Fetterman, Angela-Moore Hodge and Jim Matts will be cheered on live by event attendees who will also enjoy gourmet tasting stations, music and dancing, and a “pop-up” House of Hope boutique. All proceeds will benefit House of Hope’s mission to empower Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship.

During Top Chef Martin County, each of the five amateur contestants will be receiving a surprise basket of goods composed of items that can be found in House of Hope’s client choice pantries and nutrition gardens. They will only have 45 minutes to create a tasty dish — aiming to inspire local households to prepare nutritious meals of their own.

"The Fitanista" Angela Moore-Hodges has the friendliest "game-face," preparing to pull from her healthy meal prep skills as a personal trainer and sports nutrition therapist during the competition.

(Photo: CONTRIBUTED BY TARA JACOBS)

The judging panel, three local notables including TCPalm’s dining columnist Susan Dennis, The District Table & Bar’s Jason Stocks and Ian’s Tropical Grill’s Eric Grutka, will decide which competitor created the best dish.

Known for feeding thousands of Martin County residents, House of Hope has grown into an empowerment model targeting ways for clients to reach self-sufficiency and better health. Top Chef Martin County serves as an appropriate tie-in as it highlights meal preparation as well as the culinary career training programs the agency’s new clean room (kitchen) will soon provide.

Sponsors for this event include: Florida Power & Light Co., Whiticar Boatworks, The Fetterman Firm, Solar Energy Systems, The Firefly Group, Group One Safety & Security, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Riders Edge Equestrian Center, Geico Local Office, Elaine Matts, Joseph Matson & Linda Mundt, John and Lynn Sargent, Michael and Marie Elms, and Deborah B. Lovequist.

More information and tickets are available at TopChefMartinCounty.com.

Top Chef Martin County contestants Kelli Allison (from left), Adam Fetterman, Angela Moore-Hodge, Jim Matts and Jean Cerniglia share some laughs while touring House of Hope’s new clean room (kitchen).

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