Chopped for Charity 2023
Chopped for Charity 2023 was held on Friday, April 28, 2023.
Three amazing local chefs competed for the title of Top Chef! Each had 30 minutes to plan, prepare, and plate a beautiful and delicious main entree using pantry staples and a basket of mystery Ingredients. The resulting dishes were judged by three culinary professionals, an audience member judge, and the audience through donations!
Watch the full show below, hosted by the fabulous Joe Gatto, to learn who was crowned the Chopped for Charity Champion or read on!
Thank you to everyone who participated, attended, watched online, volunteered, and most importantly supported our mission to address hunger in our local community in ways that respect the dignity and diversity of those served.
And the Winner Is...
The talented chefs were under pressure, with only 30 short minutes to plan, prepare, and plate an entrée-style meal for the judges using the staple ingredients and the contents of mystery baskets which included king oyster mushrooms, black garlic, fresh ricotta cheese, and sugar snap peas.
It was a tough decision for the judges with all the scores being very close. The judging panel included Andy Husbands, the author and pitmaster/owner of The Smoke Shop BBQ, commentator and Radio Boston host Tiziana Dearing, and Peter Malloy, Executive Chef at Nashawtuc Country Club. They were joined by Marc Herdegen, who won the fourth judging position in an auction prior to the start of the competition.
In the end, Chef Ben Elliot won the competition, impressing judges with his ability to fully cook chicken thighs using a small burner in a small amount of time, and creating braised chicken thighs in a black garlic & mushroom agrodolce sauce with fresh ricotta crostini topped with peas, lemon zest, pistachios, and mint. Chef Kelcy Scolnik won the audience voting with her black garlic ricotta gnocchi in roasted mushroom and basil brown butter sauce, and a spring pea salad with shallot mustard vinaigrette. Chef Matt Kenah busted out the creativity with a ricotta, chopped pea, black garlic, and ‘zatar spice donut in a yogurt sauce with peas and mint and a composed salad with roasted peas, shaved mushrooms, and chopped bacon, which he topped with toasted almonds in the “28 seconds” he had to spare. It was an amazing range of beautiful and tasty dishes which were all winners in our opinion!
Thank You To Our Generous Sponsors
Jill Block and Wade Rubinstein
Jill Block is a longtime volunteer and friend of Open Table. As a former President of the Board of Directors, she led the organization through the early days of the Covid pandemic and agreed to extend her term for one year during that turbulent time. Jill called on her deep experience in public health to work with the executive director and staff to craft policies to protect the health and safety of staff, volunteers, and guests while ensuring that Open Table never missed a day of food distribution.
Wade Rubinstein is a frequent volunteer at Open Table with Jill. In addition, he is deeply committed to serving communities within Open Table’s distribution area. As the Founder and President of The Bike Connector in Lowell, Wade designed solutions for high schoolers to access affordable transportation to school, work, and activities. Wade is leading The Bike Connector’s expansion to meet the transportation, recreation, and fitness needs in greater Lowell, supporting residents’ access to community resources, including food.
Thank You To the Chopped for Charity Team
And special thanks to our wonderful volunteers for helping make this evening possible!