Local Chefs Shine At Wish Upon A Chef

By Jessica Maurer, posted Feb 5, 2020
The best appetizer award at Wish Upon a Chef was bestowed on Sam Cahoon of Savorez for a sweet potato, green apple and goat cheese arepa. (Photo by Jessica Maurer)

Many of the area’s top chefs gathered last week at the UNCW Burney Center for Make-A-Wish of Eastern North Carolina’s Wish Upon a Chef event.

The annual event is the signature fundraiser for the chapter, which grants wishes for children with critical illness in the 49 counties east of the Orange/Alamance county line. Organizers report that this year’s event raised over $177,000.

The event featured 16 chefs broken into groups of four and assigned to one of four courses, appetizer, salad, entree and dessert.

Top honors for each category were voted upon by a team of judges, who conducted a blind tasting and ranked each dish based on presentation, flavor and creativity.

The best appetizer of the evening was awarded to Sam Cahoon of Savorez for a sweet potato, green apple and goat cheese arepa, while the salad category featured a tie between Christi Ferretti of Pine Valley Market for a nom sod Thai salad with ground pork and Cape Fear Seafood Company for a Mexican street corn salad with chili-lime shrimp.

There was also a tie for the entree category with awards presented to James Smith of Fork n Cork for a lobster mac and cheese with truffle hot sauce and Catering Thyme for a New Orleans-style shrimp & grits.

The award for best dessert was given to Sweet Bay Catering of Bald Head Island for a gâteau opéra – a chocolate and coffee layered cake.

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