St. Susan Center “So you think you can cook” a series of fundraising events is gearing up to launch streaming on Roku.
The Roku streaming series will be based on three local “So you think you can cook” competitions that were recently hosted in St. Susan Center.
Cheri Rowland, executive director, said the fundraising contests were “unbelievable.”
“We ended up getting nine cooks in three weeks,” she said. “We were so blessed and so excited to have these chefs come and show their skills and have them compete.”
This year “So you think you can cook” the fundraiser featured three different chefs competing each night to create an appetizer and entree to be judged by a panel of three judges for each competition. The “mystery ingredients” for the competition included items from the kitchen of St. Susan Center, as well as ingredients from local businesses and restaurants.
Chefs featured in this year’s competition include Marlene Lucas, David Carlson, Melissa Paterniti, James Olmstead, Mark A. Graves, Chad Holberg, Nathan Holberg, Margot Stewart and Camille Hodnett.
“It’s been a really fun three nights and we plan to keep doing this and come up with a few different cooking ideas,” Rowland said. “Seeing that we had three different nights and three different winners, we didn’t make it to the finals like we did when Jeffrey Zakarian came last year, but there’s an opportunity to invite those three winners back for a cookout.”
Rowland explained that each of the three competition nights was recorded and will be released as “episodic program” on Roku Channel 716 starting April 1. Rowland added that St. The Susan Center has not publicly revealed the winner for each of the episode winners pending the Roku Channel episodes.
“What we’ve seen so far of the programming looks amazing and they really got to feel the excitement the chefs were feeling and our judges were amazing too.” she said.
Rowland said all proceeds that were raised during the three “So you think you can cook” events will benefit downtown St. Susan. In addition to the money raised from the in-person events, St. The Susan Center is currently seeking sponsors for the Roku episode series. Between the proceeds from the in-person events and the money raised through sponsorships for the streaming series, Rowland hopes St. Susan Center to reach its fundraising goal.
“We have a goal and we’re not quite there.” she said. “My goal this year was to make about $3,000, and right now we’re at about $1,600. We had very few expenses. Everyone who came and volunteered and we used our mystery and greed ingredients as community donations.
To reach the fundraising goal of $3,000, Rowland plans to raise the rest of the money through advertising sponsors of the Roku episode in the coming weeks.
According to Rowland, one of the “fun” Highlights of recent cooking competitions have been the concept of mystery ingredients.
“What makes the whole mystery ingredient even more fun for St. Susan’s is that St. Susan’s receives mystery ingredients almost every day that we have to figure out how to prepare for because we rely mostly on donations from the public.” she said. “If we get five cans of corn and three cans of beans, we’d better figure out how we can put them to better use.”
Rowland said the chefs participating in the cooking competition fundraiser were challenged with “wacky” ingredients they had to quickly use to prepare “masterpieces” for “So you think you can cook” judges. Rowland said competition with the mystery ingredient is “very exciting” for the contestants, judges and audience.
Adding excitement to the fundraising event was the appearance of the Jamestown Fire Department. Rowland said the fire department had to attend the event because she did not open the building’s windows. As a result, fire alarms went off during one of the cooking competitions. However, this year was not the first time the fire department had to appear at the St. Susan’s Cooking Competition.
“What was so amazing about this is that last year during our Jeffrey Zakarian So You Think You Can Cook, we had the fire department come out for that as well,” she said. “They were very kind and I have to congratulate them because both times they were just amazing and just so professional and pleasant.”
For those who were unable to attend the three fundraising events and watch Center St. Susan’s cooking competitions in person, Rowland said she encourages people to look for a link to Center St. Susan’s Facebook page or website (website at stsusancenter.org ), which will soon be available to the public. Rowland added that additional announcements regarding upcoming Roku episodes will be made available soon.
Rowland told The Post-Journal that St. Susan Center’s fundraising events are important because the organization is funded through individual donations from community members, grants from community foundations, state and federal grants, funding through Feed More Western New York and through fundraising events such as “So you think you can cook.”
“It is extremely important,” she said. “Last year we gave 34,000 meals, and this year it looks like we can exceed that just based on our numbers that we’re seeing in the first quarter already.” Just to put it in perspective, in December when we had our holiday trip with Keith Martin and Dan Keefe, we averaged about 120 meals a day, and now we’re averaging about 150 meals a day.”
Rowland explained that the St. Susan Center sees “rise” due to the recent “reset” of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as well as inflation, which she says is “I hit people pretty hard” in Chautauqua County.