ST. PETERSBURG — Nearly a thousand people poured in and out of the Thomas “Jet” Jackson Recreation Center, 1000 28th St. S., St. Petersburg, last Sunday afternoon to support and celebrate Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church’s 20th year of hosting Dine With Men Who Cook.
This yearly event offers a delightful and healthy competition between male cooks as they highlight their culinary abilities and contribute to community development. Part of the proceeds will help offset expenses for Bethel AME’s Breakfast Feeding Ministry.
For the past 16 years, the ministry has fed members of the community, including the homeless, with a free breakfast every Sunday morning. Donations of clothes, personal care items and holiday gifts are also given freely to needy families and individuals during certain weeks out of the year.
The NCAA sized basketball gym was transformed into a mega banquet hall, and surrounding the dining area were numbered chef tables. The cuisine ranged from soul food to Caribbean dishes. In addition to choosing foods from more than 50 chiefs, there were a variety of decadent desserts to choose from, such as pies, cakes and cookies.
Not only were guest treated to a culinary splendor, they also had a chance to win a host of door prizes. The top door prize was a 50-inch flat screen television.
More than 50 chiefs participated in this year’s gastronomical delight. Bernard King came in third place, Andre Blunt placed second and this year’s first place winner was Alrick Laing.
Judges for the Best Chief Competition this year were Chef Lennox Preudhamme, Danyelle Witchard and Leon Thomas.
Special appreciation and recognition were given to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Seminole and the Poynter Institute.
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