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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Iron Skillet pairs culinary masters with simple ingredients

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The second annual Iron Skillet Cook-Off features numerous chefs from local restaurants, benefitting the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

The event will be held Sunday, April 6, at the Burney Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

The chefs in attendance will be returning victor of the 2013 Iron Skillet, Keith Rhodes of Catch; James Doss of Rx; Carlos Rojas of Delphina Dos; Ryan Andress and Jon-Mike Rehm of UNCW Campus Dining; and Nick Votel of 9 Bakery and Lounge.

The competing chefs will be given six ingredients that must be used in their dishes and will be permitted to incorporate elements of their own choosing. The ingredients will be made available to the chefs roughly one week ahead of time.

In 2013, chefs were charged with creating a dish using honey, pork loin, red beans, rice, apples, kale and bananas.

“The ingredients provided will relate to the food often found at the Food Bank or our sister pantries,” said Jeff Rose, event organizer and Wilmington branch director of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

Chef Votel said he thinks it is nice the ingredients are accessible.

“It’s a really neat idea, creating really nice things out of simple ingredients available to someone who uses the Food Bank,” he said.

The chefs’ creations will be judged by the guests in attendance. Admission is $15 and provides each guest with samples of each dish and 15 votes to cast in support of any chef. Guests will also be able to purchase more votes if they wish, and all proceeds will benefit the Food Bank.

“We raised just over $2,000 last year, which isn’t bad for our first year,” Rose said.

This year, the chefs and their respective restaurants have had the chance to raise additional funds for two weeks prior to the event. That money will be added to the money raised by each chef during the competition, and may change the overall outcome of the event.

Visit www.foodbankcenc.org for more information about the Iron Skillet or the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

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