It’s ‘Game On’ as Chefs Battle in Garner

Renowned chefs and local TV celebrities will team up to compete next week for the third annual Cooks for Books Battle of the Chefs, a fundraiser benefiting the Garner Educational Foundation.

Set for next Thursday, Jan. 31, Cooks for Books will help raise funds to support GEF’s literacy enrichment programming for students in the Garner area, including the Schools and Communities Organized to Read, or SCOR, volunteer reading program and the upcoming Garner Storytelling Festival.

The theme for this year’s Cooks for Books contest is Game On, with participating chefs set to prepare their best game day meals and appetizers in honor of the upcoming Super Bowl.

Here’s how it works: Three live kitchens will be in operation at event host Garner TV & Appliance, located on U.S. 70 West in Garner, as competition heats up between three local networks and their restaurant partners. 

Cooks for Books attendees will have the chance to sample and vote on the entrees created by each team, and enjoy other complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages. 

Each popular vote for an entrée costs $1, and attendees may vote as many times as they’d like. 

Awards will be given for the team who creates the dish that wins the popular vote, and an official judge’s vote award will be coordinated by the N.C. Chefs Academy.

And Chef Elise Johnson, spokesperson for BJ’s Warehouse and author of You Never Cook Alone, will be back to judge this year.  

Emcee for the evening is Bill Jordan, host of Bill & Lynda in the Morning, on MIX 101.5 FM.

The 2013 cooking teams are:

• WRAL sports anchor Mandy Mitchell paired with Empire Eats’ Chef John Scarangella of The Raleigh Times Bar

• WTVD sports anchor Jen Daniels paired with Chef Joseph Yarnell of Cantina 18, and  

• NBC 17’s Sharon Delaney and sports reporter Todd Gibson, paired with one of the 2012 Cooks for Books champions, Chef David Baysinger of Eschelon Hospitality’s Cameron Bar and Grill.

Dessert Contest Too

As a sideline to the main event, area businesses, nonprofits, schools and individuals are invited to submit a signature dessert for judging in the third annual Garner: It’s a SWEET Place to Be Dessert Challenge. 

Cost for dessert contest entry is $25.

Cooks for Books tickets are $25 per person or $40 per couple, and are available at Garner TV & Appliance, Bingham Law Office or through any Garner Educational Foundation Board member.

Special VIP passesare also available for $40 per person, and include a one-hour exclusive meet and greet with the participating chefs and TV personalities prior to the start of the event.

For more information, contact Cooks for Books chair Amy White at  or (919) 201-1211, or visit

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