Leah Harrison is a reporter and copy editor for the Atlanta Jewish Times.
“Almost Chopped” participants gather at Spring Hall for a run-through on Dec. 19: (from left) Hadassah Greater Atlanta President Sheila Dalmat; Kinneret Weismark, runner, Kathy Sheehan, chef-testant, and Pam Leinmiller, sous chef, Team Sugar and Spice; Andy Stenmark, sous chef, Team Hash Slingers; Barbara Lang, event co-chair; Glen Caruso, chef-testant, Team Hash Slingers; Samantha Ellis, chef-testant, Team Samantha Lives Next Door; Holly Strelzik, event co-chair; Judi Schnitzer, sous chef, Team Jersey Tomatoes; Michelle Venter, MC; and (seated) Barbara Flexner, chef-testant, Team Jersey Tomatoes. Not shown are Michele Vernon, Rebecca Carey, Eliana Leader and Tristan Bjorn Stenmark.
Hadassah Greater Atlanta has cooked up an “incr-edible” competition to raise money for research into neurological diseases ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease), Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.
Riffing on Food Network’s popular show “Chopped,” the event features four teams, each including a nominated home chef-testant, a sous chef and a runner. “Almost Chopped!” will take place Sunday, Jan. 21, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Spring Hall, 7130 Buford Highway, just east of Doraville.
Although the chefs on the TV show compete in three rounds — appetizer, main course and dessert — the abbreviated “Almost Chopped!” will have two timed rounds of cooking.
In each round, the teams must incorporate all the ingredients in a mystery basket, using only the tools provided for food preparation.
Broadcast journalist and food enthusiast Michelle Venter will preside as master of ceremonies, and the competition will be judged by a formidable panel of Atlanta celebrity chefs, including Pano Karatassos of the Buckhead Life Group, Suzanne Vizethann of Buttermilk Kitchen, Mimmo Alboumeh of Red Pepper Taqueria and Vincent Scafiti of The Farmhouse at Persimmon Creek.
The “Almost Chopped!” chef-testants with their sous chefs:
Hash Slingers — Glen Caruso and Andy Stenmark.
Jersey Tomatoes — Barbara Flexner and Michele Vernon.
Samantha Lives Next Door — Samantha Ellis and Rebecca Carey.
Sugar and Spice — Kathy Sheehan and Pam Leinmiller.
The event co-chairs are Barbara Lang and Holly Strelzik.
“We’re all very excited to be hosting the first-of-its-kind ‘Almost Chopped!’” Strelzik said. “What a fabulous and fun way to raise money for neurological research.”
Tickets are $36 and include appetizers from High Roller Sushi and desserts from Seasons 52, as well as wine and other beverages.