RISING SUN — Local chefs are ready to deliver a taste of Cecil County in an effort to raise money for Union Hospital.
The annual Chefs’ Challenge, which this year will benefit Union Hospital’s surgical renovation project, will be held March 21 at Rising Sun Banquet Hall from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is organized by the Junior Board of Union Hospital.
This year’s participating chefs are Jeff Burress of the Granary Restaurant, Brandon Bush of North East River Yacht Club, Bruce Wetterau of Schaeffer’s Canal House and Union Hospital’s Gerry Ward.
Each year features different competitors and ingredients. This year’s competition is divided into three rounds based on a key ingredient: potato, ginger and citrus. It’s still under wraps what the chefs will make with those ingredients.
The four local chefs will have to serve up three different appetizers, each featuring the assigned key ingredient. After tasting all 12 dishes, audience members will vote on a winner.
This year’s chefs said there is a sense of friendly competition between them. Although their styles in the kitchen vary — from traditional meat and potatoes dishes to light seafood fare – they all said they had a passion for what they do.
For the chefs, participating in the Union Hospital event is less about meeting a challenge and more about having fun and giving back to the community.
There’s nothing dull about being in a kitchen, said Bruce Wetterau of Schaeffer’s Canal House. He recalled putting out a fire while catering a wedding and getting right back to work to plate up food.
Three of the chefs come from popular local eateries in Cecil County. But Union Hospital’s own Gerry Ward works in the food service industry, managing such hospital services as the employee cafe and weekly food boxes for the homeless. When another competitor could no longer attend the Chefs’ Challenge, Ward stepped up.
Ward said he’s ready to wow tasters with his cuisine that’s inspired by fresh, local food.
“It’s a great cause for the foundation and the hospital,” he said.
For more information, ticket sales and sponsorship opportunities call Holly Rollins at (410) 392-7019. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.uhcc.com.