The annual Celebrity & Chef Cookoff, one of Wichita’s most fun and successful food fundraisers, is less than a week away.
This year’s event, the 16th annual, is set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13 at Intrust Bank Arena. It’s a fundraiser for the Orpheum Theatre that includes food, drink and a show: Six local celebrities are paired with six local chefs and asked to cook a gourmet dish on the spot in 45 minutes using ingredients provided, plus a secret ingredient.
The cast of competing characters is interesting as usual. Among the celebrities on the roster are former Shocker basketball star Evan Wessel, who now works in Wichita as a financial advisor; vice mayor Janet Miller; and Schane Gross, owner of The Anchor. Each will be paired with a local chef, and the names on the roster include Ben George, the executive chef at Intrust Bank Arena; Josh Rathbun, the executive chef at Siena Tuscan Steakhouse; and Stephanie Hand, the executive chef and cafe manager for Reverie Roasters.
I’m one of the event’s longtime judges, and I always leave stuffed but impressed by the abilities of the chefs and their helpers.
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Tickets are $90 a person, and attendees also get food samples from a long list of restaurants, including Douglas Avenue Chop Shop, Noble House Hawaiian, Bagel Haus and more. The event also includes a live and silent auction.
For tickets, visit www.wichitaorpheum.com.