Inspired by the hit tv show, Chopped, Community Leaders will form teams of 3-5 people to compete for the title of American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge Cooking Up Hope Champion on February 10, 2020 & February 20, 2020. Team members can be professional chefs, amateur foodies, home cooks or people looking to experience the thrill of competition for a good cause. Teams are encouraged to raise a minimum of $2,500 prior to the competition to benefit the Hope Lodge. Our February dates are full and ACS is excited to announce there are two dates in September for 8 additional teams to participate in the Fall 2020 Cooking Up Hope Competition. Register your team now on the September event website.
Hope Lodge offers cancer patients and their caregivers a free place to stay when their best hope for effective treatment may be outside of their home community. Hope Lodge provides a nurturing, home-like environment where guests can retreat to private rooms or connect with others in common living space areas. Eliminating the concerns of where to stay or how to pay for lodging allows residents and their caregivers to focus on treatment and defeating cancer. In 2018, nearly 500 patients and 650 caregivers stayed at the Hope Lodge in Minneapolis.
Cooking Competition Rules: The competition will take place in the kitchens at the Richard M. Schulze Hope Lodge in Minneapolis. Each team will be assigned a kitchen stocked with cooking utensils, a stove, oven, microwave and other appliances. Each team will prepare five plates for each of three courses, appetizer, main and dessert. The secret ingredient(s) for each course will be provided to each team. Any additional ingredients the team would like to use for each dish will be provided by the Cooking Up Hope teams. The secret ingredient(s) for each course will be disclosed to the teams two weeks prior to the competition.
Competing teams can load into their assigned kitchens beginning at 4:00 p.m. Teams can begin cooking their dishes at 4:30 p.m. Neither ingredient preparation nor cooking is allowed until 4:30 p.m. Courses will be served and judged beginning at 7:00 p.m. (appetizer), 7:30 p.m. (main) and 8:00 p.m. (dessert).
Judging: Plates will be judged by a panel comprised of local celebrities, patients, survivors and caregivers. Each course will be judged separately on a point scale. The winning team will be selected based on total points earned. Points are determined based on taste, creativity and presentation at the discretion of the judges. The Cooking Up Hope Competition Cup will be awarded to the winning team.
The 2020 judges include:
Chef Yia Vang – Chef and co-founder of Union Hmong Kitchen
Yia Vang was born in a Thai refugee camp, came to the United States at five years old, and eventually arrived in the Twin Cities as part of the largest urban Hmong population in the world. He cooked at Nighthawks, Borough, and Gavin Kaysen’s Spoon & Stable before starting Union Hmong Kitchen, and serves as a passionate, tireless, funny, and forgiving advocate for Hmong food as an expression of Hmong culture.
Ariana Feygin – Season 6 contestant on FOX’s MasterChef Junior
Ariana Feygin was a contestant on FOX’s MasterChef Junior in 2018. She has continued her training with culinary teams at French Laundry, Spoon and Stable and 6Smith. Ariana has taken her talents and passion beyond the kitchen. She has raised more than $500,000 to support numerous causes including pediatric cancer, heart disease, world hunger and people living with disabilities. In 2018, Ariana was selected at the youngest recipient of the Women Who Lead Award by Minnesota Business Magazine for her work in the Minnesota community.
Tina Rexing – Owner of T-Rex Cookie Kitchen
In the 4 years T-Rex Cookie has been in business her enormous cookies have gained national recognition on NBC’s Today Show in December 2015. She has made local visits to Fox’s Jason Matheson Show, Twin Cities Live and Kare 11 as well as WCCO, KFAN & The Current radio shows. In May 2016, her 1/2 pound Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie was voted #1 Cookie in the Country by TimeOut Magazine and the New York Post. Insider Food featured the making of the giant 5 pound T-Rex Cookie with over 5 million views across the web.
Dayna Koehn - Country Musician
Dayna is a country musician and music therapist. She was nominated for New Artist of the Year and her debut single, Lightening, was nominated for Song of the Year by the Midwest CMA Awards. Dayna's new single, Let The Girls Play, will be realeased soon and she is heading to Nashville to record her first full length EP.