Thursday, November 10, 2011

“Night of the Chefs” Event Pits Local Chefs in Competition to Make Delicious, Nutritious School Lunch Items for $1.00 A Meal

“Night of the Chefs” Event Pits Local Chefs in Competition to Make Delicious, Nutritious School Lunch Items for $1.00 A Meal

Competition Fundraiser at Ann Howard at the Bond to benefit Everybody Wins! Connecticut Nonprofit Reading Program

Hartford, CT – Local chefs from throughout greater Hartford will be participating in a competition to create unique school lunch menu items that are not only delicious but also adhere to strict USDA nutrition standards, all for under $1.00 per meal. The “Night of the Chefs” event is a fundraiser for Everybody Wins! Connecticut, a non-profit organization that provides reading enrichment programs for low-income children. The event is scheduled for Thursday, November 10, 2011 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Ann Howard at the Bond in Hartford, CT.

According to Timothy Cipriano, Executive Director of Food Services for the New Haven Public Schools and member of the School Nutrition Association of CT and a judge at this year’s Night of the Chefs competition, the event asks contestants to create a delicious school lunch that meet the United States Department of Agriculture’s Healthier U.S. School Challenge standards. These items must be created with the same budget of a school cafeteria (approximately $1 per meal or less), and will feature an array of fresh ingredients eats from local farms including seasonal vegetables and assorted meats. Each chef must prepare meals for the judges within 90 minutes which will include a special “surprise” challenge.

Contestants must create menu items that adhere to the USDA’s Healthier U.S. Schools Challenge nutrition standards which require:

• A serving of dark green or orange vegetable (at least ¼ cup)*

• A serving of fruit (at least ¼ cup)

• A whole grain food serving

• A serving of protein

• A serving of low fat or skim milk.

“Following a school lunch budget of $1.00 per meal, there's nothing simple about this cook-off,” said Chef Cipriano. “This competition helps to illustrate just how challenging it is to produce tasty and nutritious food under a tight budget, working with limited equipment in an extremely short period of time. Of course producing a handful of meals with chef-quality equipment and ingredient, is still a far cry from cooking hundreds of meals using limited, institutional equipment with limited ingredients which is what school food service professionals do on a daily basis.”

What: Night of the Chefs fundraiser event to benefit Everybody Wins! Connecticut.

Who: Local chefs including Van Hurd (Jordan Caterers), Ryan Jones (Mill at 2T) and Scott Miller (Max’s Oyster Bar). , Judges including Chef Tim Cipriano, Ellen Shanley (UCONN) and Leeanne Griffin (

Where: Ann Howard at the Bond, Hartford, CT

When: Thursday, November 10, 2011 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Details: Cocktail Hour, Chef Cook-Off, Gourmet Dinner (beer and wine Included), Silent Auction

Ticket Prices - $75 per person - purchased online at or call (860) 232-3549


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