Sizzle for a Cause

Excelsior-area chefs will put their game faces on for a fast paced, Food Network –style cooking competition on February 19— and it’s all for a good cause. The third annual Sizzle for a Cause event, benefitting ICA Food Shelf, will be held at the Bayview Event Center beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Chefs from Jake O’ Connor’s Public House, Sushi Fix, Coalition, Maynard’s, and 6 Smith will face off in a fast-paced competition in the style of Food Network’s popular Iron Chef and Chopped programs. The chefs will be presented with two mystery items along with a pantry full of additional ingredients, and then have 30 minutes to whip up dishes to impress the judging panel.

This year’s judges include Tim Mahoney, a competitor on season one of The Voice, meteorologist Paul Douglas, entertainment reporter Rusty Gatenby, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, and Minnesota Monthly’s own editor in chief Rachel Hutton.

The night will kick off with a social hour featuring appetizers from the competing restaurants, beer tasting from Excelsior Brewery, wine tasting from Wine Republic, photo ops with the judges, and entertainment from lounge singer Fred Montana.

The event has grown from its humble beginnings in 2013, says Sizzle for a Cause committee member and emcee Robert Edmonson.  “Three years ago, about 150 people came. It was a test-the-waters kind of deal,” he says. Organizers are hoping for upwards of 250 attendees for this year’s event.

New to Sizzle for a Cause this year was the option to purchase a “Table D’Elegance,” which seats eight and offers a chance to try the dishes that the chefs create, as well as a raffle to win a weekend with a Tesla Model S.  The premier tables have already sold out, a positive sign for Edmonson and the rest of the committee members.

“We’re starting smaller, building the brand,” Edmonson said. “It’s a labor of love, it really is.”

Sizzle for a Cause tickets can be bought online for $40 through February 18, or at the door for $60. Tesla raffle tickets can also be purchased online.