Looking for a healthier alternative to traditional chili helped Lincoln Pasteur win first prize in the casserole category of the United Negro College Fund’s second annual One Hundred Celebrity Men Who Cook event.
The cook-off took place at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday and featured an array of dishes prepared by a diverse group of 39 South Florida men.
Florida Memorial University’s steel band and Dillard High’s jazz ensemble entertained the gathering.
Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta sororities collaborated on the scholarship fundraiser that chairperson Shirley Baker said raised at least $10,000. Baker, immediate past president of the Broward County Alumni chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, was pleased with the event.
“There were people here early; they were trying to come in at 4 p.m.,” Baker said, two hours early.
Once people did gain access, Baker said, “everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. Everybody has been so wonderful.”
Pasteur, an elementary school principal, said his wife encouraged him to enter the recipe that is a mainstay at their home.
“We try to stay away from pork and beef, so we came up with turkey instead of beef,” he said.
Although he would not disclose the secret to his recipe, he did acknowledge that jalapeno peppers provide the heat for the spicy dish.
Bishop John White served up homemade vanilla ice-cream, the recipe a combination of ingredients passed down by his mother and grandmother.
White said his role as chairman for the commission on seminaries, colleges and universities for the African Methodist Episcopal Church made his participation in the cook-off easy.
Bonnie Clemon Jr. , principal of Seagull Adult High school in Fort Lauderdale, combined his interest in charitable events benefiting youth with a love of cooking to land second place in the dessert category.
“This kind of worked well with me. Last year I won third place, this year I won second place,” Clemon said.
State Rep. Oscar Braynon repeated his winning chocolate cake recipe from last year‘s competition. The recipe – a moist, rich, make you close your eyes delicious cake – lost out this year to George Kress, whose unique and tasty Greek orange cake recipe took first place.
“The recipe is a Greek recipe, translated from Greek via Google. Somebody recommended it when I was in Greece in May,” said Kress, a pharmacist for Walgreens.
An empty pan meant a tasty dish, surmised Keith Hylor.
“They must’ve liked it,” he said of the recipe he called “‘Something, Something,’ a combination of shrimp and scallops.”
James Morris, a store director for Winn Dixie, agreed with him. “When it’s good, it’s gone,” he said of his steak and potatoes dish called “Good Meat by a Good Man.”
Christopher Smith, a graduate of the UNCF-funded Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina, entered a recipe created out of necessity during his college days: “When you’re sitting around your dorm room or apartment and you just got some beef and a lot of boxes and you throw it all together and you got chili.”
John Brown switched his banker’s suit for a chef‘s apron to prepare an asparagus and turkey sausage casserole for the competition.
“The recipe is something that we eat around the house, trying to make a quick meal, with healthy and hearty ingredients,” Brown said of the delicious, surprisingly light dish that included a creamy sauce and chopped veggies.
A long line snaked towards the table for Mark Howard’s Turf and Jerk Burger, for which he won second place. He ran out of food before some guests could sample the burger topped with a sweet mango coleslaw.
The assistant principal said the recipe is “a combination of different recipes“ that he put his personal spin on.
Renee Michelle Harris may be reached at RMHarris15@Bellsouth.net.
KHARY BRUYNING/FOR SOUTH FLORIDA TIMES. COOK-OFF WINNER: Lincoln Pasteur