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Chopped for Charity 2024

Chopped for Charity 2024 was held on Friday, May 3, 2024. Over 200 attendees helped celebrate Open Table’s 35 years of providing food and friendship to our community while raising over $180,000 in much-needed funds to support Open Table’s mission.

We are delighted to honor James Crosby and Crosby’s Marketplace for their many years of dedication and commitment to Open Table’s mission.

View photos from the event HERE and to learn who was crowned the Chopped Champions read on!


Thank you to everyone who participated, attended, provided auction items, 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...

Chef Jason Jernigan, Chef Viviana Duque, Emcee Joe Gatto, and Chef Jonathan Gillman at Chopped for Charity 2024

The talented chefs were under pressure, with only 30 minutes to prepare and plate an entrée-style for the judges using Open Table groceries they had pre-ordered through the online-ordering system and the secret ingredient: rhubarb.

It was a tough decision for the judges. Culinary experts Sarah Blackburn of Edible Boston and Jeanine Calabria, former Open Table Executive Director and cookbook author, were joined by Julia Whiteneck who won the third judging position in a hard-fought auction prior to the start of the competition.

The winner was Chef Jonathan Gilman, whose Colorful Cod Fish Tacos with Rhubarb Pico de Gallo captivated the judges’ palates. There could only be one winner, but Chef Viviana Duque’s Steak with Potatoes & Plantains in Rhubarb Sauce and Chef Jason Jernigan’s Greek Yogurt Cavatelli with Pan Seared Scallops were also winning dishes in our opinion!

Chef Jason Jernigan

Champion Chef Jonathan Gillman

Chef Viviana Duque

VIP Reception and Mixology Competition

Mixology Champion Samantha Hughes

VIP guests were invited to meet the chefs, peek behind the scenes, and experience a mixology competition, including sampling cocktails crafted by Samantha Hughes of The International Country Club and Jordan Mackey of Sobre Mesa and Nan’s Kitchen. Three guests were selected as judges, ultimately deciding that Samantha’s Italian Refresher just edged out Jordan’s more Mexican-themed drink. Once again, we thought both beverages were amazing!

Mixologist Jordan Mackey

Photo Gallery

Our fabulously talented photographers, Edward Feather and Colin Valentine, captured hundreds of engaging shots of the event.

Here is a first sampling, with more images, including those of YOU, our supporters, to be added during the coming week.

The Competition - Meet the Chefs

Three acclaimed local chefs took center stage as competitors at this year’s Chopped for Charity gala. The Chefs competed in a fast-paced cooking challenge before an expert panel of judges.

Chef Viviana Acevedo

Chef Viviana Duque

Executive Chef and Owner
Panela Restaurant

Chef Viviana Duque is a distinguished Executive chef and owner of Panela Restaurant in Lowell, MA. Born and raised in Medellin Colombia, Chef Viviana embarked on a journey to the city of Lowell at the age of 15 where she has lived all her adult years. She is a Le Cordon Bleu alumna with a rich background in high-end restaurants. Fueled by passion and family support, Chef Viviana envisioned Panela as her dream of showcasing the diversity of Colombian cuisine inspired by various regions, all featuring panela as a key ingredient.

Chef Jon Gilman

Chef Jonathan Gilman

Executive Chef
True West Brewery

Jonathan Gilman has been professionally cooking creative comfort foods in a scratch kitchen for over 15 years.  He began his career at the Cambridge Brewing Company in Cambridge, and went on to open his own restaurant, called Brato Brewhouse and Kitchen, in 2019.  After having some success, and winning a Best of Boston award in 2021, this endeavor eventually had to close due to financial constraints brought on through COVID.  Today, Jon lives near Acton and looks to make an impact on his new community in his role as Executive Chef at True West Brewing Company.

Chef Jason Jernigan

Chef Jason Jernigan

Chef Owner, Chef Style Boston
Svenfish Chef Collaborator

Born in Portsmouth, VA, Chef Jason Jernigan’s culinary passion ignited from simple family meals and seasonal gardening with his parents and grandparents. After completing his Air Force service and working in the field of microbiology, he completed his formal training at Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and Boston University, eventually finding his full passion in Mediterranean flavors. As a private chef and consultant, he shares his passion through immersive classes and innovative menus, blending tradition with innovation. He believes in the power of food to unite and heal, striving for perfection and meaningful connections.

The Judges

Sarah Blackburn

Sarah Blackburn

Edible Boston and Edible Worcester

Sarah is the editor-in-chief, co-owner and publisher of Edible Boston and Edible Worcester. With extensive knowledge of the local food community, Sarah has a deep interest in sustainable living, kitchen gardening and home cooking and sharing her passion for both. She lives in Wayland with her husband, two teenagers, and a rambunctious bird dog. 

Jeanine Calabria

Jeanine Calabria

Author, Former Open Table Executive Director
The Taste of Stories: Cornfields and Olive Groves, a Family Heritage Cookbook

Jeanine Calabria has extensive non-profit leadership experience – most recently as the Executive Director of Open Table. She is professionally trained in intercultural management and has a deep passion for cooking that brings all people to the table. Jeanine started her career working as a pastry chef at a French restaurant only to find herself again in the kitchen while at the helm for more than a decade at Open Table. Jeanine has recently combined her writing and cooking skills in her personal life to publish a memoir cookbook, The Taste of Stories. Food relief has been her focus in the recent past, but the common theme throughout her career has been welcoming and assisting culturally diverse populations to have the most successful transition possible.

Who Could it Be?


Auction Winner

Three food experts will be seated at the judges’ table – and one of them could be YOU! Before the competition heats up, we will be auctioning off a judgeship. One lucky winner will have the opportunity to taste the chefs’ creations and cast their vote. If you’ve always wanted to show off your tasting skills and critique top chefs, get ready to bid on this highly coveted spot!

The Master of Ceremonies

Chef Joe Gatto

Chef, TV Host
Chef Joe Gatto

Chef Joe Gatto is a charismatic culinary expert who hosts the popular cooking show “From Scratch” on Pluto TV. He is a well-known private chef who serves A-list clients, including Celtics and Red Sox players. His NPR cooking segment, which airs monthly, has garnered a loyal fanbase, as has his national cookbook, “Seriously From Scratch.” Chef Joe is acclaimed for his immense passion for cooking, outstanding culinary creations, and his ability to bring people together with food and humor.


Jim Crosby of Crosby's Market

James Crosby and Crosby's Marketplace

Jim Crosby worked his way through Northeastern University on the 5-year co-op plan with the Star Market Company. After graduation, he was promoted to Store Manager, Grocery Merchandiser, Seafood/Deli Merchandiser, Employment Manager, and ultimately Director of Operations for 31 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Later, Jim earned a Master’s Degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurship at Babson College.

In 1980, Star Market sold off its smaller locations, including the Concord store on Lowell Road, which Jim and his wife Pat purchased. In 1997, Stop & Shop decided to leave Concord, and that presented the opportunity to better serve the community with a larger facility. Today, Crosby’s operates 7 locations: Concord, Georgetown, Hamilton, Salem, Marblehead, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Henry’s Fine Foods in Beverly. Crosby’s employs an excellent staff of 525 people, 20% of whom have 10 years or more of service with the company.

Under Jim’s direction, the company has always been involved in the fight against food insecurity. In addition to their support of Open Table, Crosby’s works with Lifebridge in Salem, Beverly Bootstraps, and the Greater Boston Food Bank. Jim has expressed his commitment to helping those in need: “It’s hard to believe that so many people go to bed hungry in a country like this, it’s incredible. Especially children.” For decades of community service, Jim was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humane Letters for Philanthropy from Salem State University in 2011.

Jim was married to Pat, his high school sweetheart and love of his life, for 58 years. Pat passed away in 2022 of Alzheimer’s. They were blessed with 5 children and 10 grandchildren. All of their children worked in the business at one time or another. Today his son Chris is the President and CEO, and his daughter Terri is a Store Manager.

Thank You to the Chopped for Charity 2024 Committee

Open Table Chopped for Charity 2024 Committee
Chopped for Charity 2024 Committee: Alex DePalo, Norma Frye, Jonathan Magasanik, Renee Magasanik, Meredith Powell, Alannah Gustavson, Jessica Kirkwood, Christine Evans, Patsy Coffin, Jennifer Clarke, and Eric Schoen

Thank You To Our Generous Sponsors

JP Morgan logo
Tito's Handmade Vodka logo

Open Table Board of Directors


Open Table Investment Committee

Thank You To Our Donors and Supporters

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