Local chefs Sizzle for a Cause, raise $30K for ICA

Victor’s on Water from Excelsior hands out appetizers at Sizzle for a Cause Feb. 23 at the Lafayette Club. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer) Bacio from Minnetonka hands out appetizers at Sizzle for a Cause Feb. 23 at the Lafayette Club. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer) The Lafayette Club hands out appetizers Feb. 23 at Sizzle for a Cause. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer) Birch’s on the Lake from Long Lake Head Chef Jon Boetel picks ingredients to cook with at Sizzle for a Cause Feb. 23 at the Lafayette Club. The event was a “Chopped-style” competition that raised funds for the ICA Food Shelf. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer) Birch’s on the Lake, right to left, Head Chef Jon Boetel, Sous-Chef Gionnie Castillo and assistant Klever Castillo cook a dish Feb. 23 at the ICA Food Shelf charity event Sizzle for a Cause. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer) Lafayette Club’s Sous Chef Maggie Welch. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer) Victor’s on Water Chefs Patrick Donelan and Michelle Jensen. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer) The Lafayette Club hosted the annual charity event cooking competition Sizzle for a Cause Feb. 23 that raised funds for the ICA Food Shelf. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer) Sizzle for a Cause’s hosts Bob Cummings and Jill Holter. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer) Sizzle for a Cause’s event judges, left to right, last year winner and Coalition’s Head Chef Eli Wollenzien, local foodie Sue Zelickon and ICA Food Shelf’s Executive Director Peg Keenan. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer) The Lafayette Club’s Head Chef Shane Oporto and Sous Chef Maggie Welch won the annual Sizzle for a Cause cooking competition Feb. 23 at the Lafayette Club in Minnetonka Beach. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer)
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Birch’s on the Lake from Long Lake Head Chef Jon Boetel picks ingredients to cook with at Sizzle for a Cause Feb. 23 at the Lafayette Club. The event was a “Chopped-style” competition that raised funds for the ICA Food Shelf. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Paige Kieffer)

Restaurants compete in cooking event for charity

Lafayette Club won the fifth annual Sizzle for a Cause fundraiser cooking competition Feb. 25 at the club in Minnetonka Beach. The event raised more than $30,000 for the ICA Food Shelf.

Restaurants that participated included Bacio’s from Minnetonka, Birch’s on the Lake from Long Lake, the Lafayette Club from Minnetonka Beach and Victor’s on Water from Excelsior. The restaurants battled it out in cooking competition modeled after the “Chopped” television show.

“This event is huge,” said Peg Keenan, executive director of the food shelf. “Starting in January, after everyone is so giving in December, our donations drop, so to have this event during a time when were looking for some support is incredible. We have such a great community and a great group of chefs who care. They’re about food and so are we so to bring the two together is an amazing experience.”

Gianni’s Steakhouse in Wayzata was going to compete in the competition, but had to pull out at the last minute. Joey Novas in Tonka Bay stepped in and donated pizzas for appetizers, but did not compete.

The restaurant chefs selected from a table of food options and three secret ingredients, ground turkey, daikon radishes and oat bran sesame sticks. Each team had 45 minutes to make their dish, that was served to the judges and those supporters who purchased tables at the event.

The judges included last year’s winner and Coalition’s Head Chef Eli Wollenzien, local foodie Sue Zelickson and Keenan.

The winner, Lafayette Club, got to take home a Golden Cleaver. The Lafayette Club’s Head Chef Shane Oporto and Sous Chef Maggie Welch competed in the event.

“It was a fun way to be a part of the community while supporting a good cause,” Welch said. “These chefs are a part of our community and it’s great to see people and bring them in and have chance to work all around each other.”

Oporto added, “The part I enjoyed about it was it was a really relaxed competition and fun and had a really good time meeting with the other restaurants.”

The funds raised were through ticket sales, party games and a live and silent auction.

“I love how Sizzle for a Cause brings the community together who really love supporting the ICA Food Shelf,” said Shirley Buehler, ICA Food Shelf project coordinator and Sizzle committee organizer. “This event really helps spread the word that there are struggling families in the community.”

The ICA Food Shelf in Hopkins assists families in need by distributing food, financial assistance and employment assistance. ICA serves the communities of Deephaven, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Shorewood and Woodland.

“We all get to eat and drink and enjoying amazing appetizers while knowing that were raising money for people who don’t have access to the good food we get to enjoy tonight,” said organizer Jill Holter. “This also gets people to know that there are hungry families in our community and no matter how much fun were having here, at the end of the night thousands of dollars will be going to feed our neighbors. It’s a privilege to get to do this.”

For more information, visit icafoodshelf.org.

Contact Paige Kieffer at [email protected].