Celebrity Chefs tasting luncheon and silent auction set for March 23


What do you get when you mix the culinary talent of local business and community leaders, fold in a fabulous silent auction and sprinkle it with fun, friends and entertainment? You have the perfect recipe for an unforgettable celebration benefiting some of our community’s most vulnerable.

“We all have those long-held favorite dishes that make our mouth water,” said Celebrity Chef Chair Cindy Cooper. “Whether it is a time-honored family recipe that is the centerpiece of every holiday celebration or that never-fail appetizer or dessert that has your guest raving and asking for your recipe, this year’s lineup of Celebrity Chefs have brought a little of both to the culinary table.”

This year’s Celebrity Chefs include: award-winning chef Virginia Anthony, CEO and founder of Autrey Holdings LLC Ron Autrey, Genesa Reimbursement Group executive Noble Beckwith, Jacksonville City Council President Terrence E. Freeman Sr., Vice President of Hakimian Holdings Paige Hakimian, President and CEO of CSX Corp.  Joe Hinrichs, VyStar Credit Union Chief Human Resources Officer Kawanza Humphrey, WJCT producer and talk show host Melissa Ross, Jacksonville Sharks owner Rob Storm, Hospital President of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville Nicole Thomas and Florida Blue Senior Corporate Social Responsibility Integrator Andrea Williams.

This Jacksonville legacy event benefits the multitude of services and resources. The Salvation Army of Northeast Florida delivers to thousands of families and individuals year-round, including emergency financial assistance, rehabilitation for those suffering with substance abuse issues to clothing, food and shelter and more.

“This event is put together entirely through the efforts of an amazing group of women that are members of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary,” Cooper said. “When you attend the event and take in the magnitude of it all — the attention to detail and the flawless execution — you won’t believe it is overseen by all volunteers, recognized by their red Salvation Army aprons. I have been blessed to have worked alongside a truly talented and dedicated team of volunteers who have given so much of their time and talent to make sure this event is a memorable experience for everyone — chefs and guests alike.”

The event will be held on March 23 at the Prime F. Osborn Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Silent auction opens at 10:30 a.m. Sponsorships are still available and tickets can be purchased by calling Darlene Uhler-Batiste, Salvation Army special events coordinator at 904-301-4841. For sponsorship information, contact NeeCee Lee at 904-612-5216.