Calling all chefs: Come get your cook on

At “Real Men Cook,” local volunteers can sample the experience of being a professional chef while raising money for Arts Outreach, a nonprofit organization that supports the arts in the Santa Ynez Valley. Photo contributed

Star Report

Arts Outreach is looking for volunteers for “Real Men Cook,” an annual fundraiser for the nonprofit group that features more than 50 amateur male chefs creating fantastic dishes combined with beverages from 35 premier local vintners and brewers, live music and a fantastic auction.

This year’s event will be from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, at Monty and Pat Roberts’ Flag is Up Farm.

This year’s “Real Men Cook” event is dedicated to the memory of Pete Fohl, who participated frequently before his death this summer.
Photo contributed

“The success of Real Men Cook relies on our fabulous volunteer chefs; without them it couldn’t happen. This year’s event will be dedicated to the memory of Pete Fohl, who was known for his inventive and tasty entries at the event, along with his wonderful table decorations. Most of all he was known for his smile,” said Sandie Mullin, executive director of Arts Outreach.

Fohl died unexpectedly this summer. His wife, Tenley, is a local food and wine photographer.

Arts Outreach is looking for any chef who can prepare 200 to 250 tablespoon-sized tastes (or teams who can prepare 350 to 400) of their creations in one of several categories including appetizers; chili or stew; entrees of fish, fowl, meat or vegetarian; side dishes; and desserts.

This number of bite-sized tastes equates to 18 to 22 normal servings. For example, a large lasagna pan yields about 100 tastes, and a cookie can be cut into quarters. Food should be cooked off-site, not at venue, and no microwave ovens are allowed, organizers said.

All of the chefs’ recipes will also be posted on the Arts Outreach website.

“The generosity of Monty and Pat Roberts is amazing. We appreciate their willingness to have us on their property each year, and it’s because of people like them and our community we can keep the arts alive in the Santa Ynez Valley,” Mullin said.

Arts Outreach is dedicated to “bringing art to life and life to art.” Activities include elementary school classroom workshops and continuing art curriculum led by artists-in-residence, summertime arts and drama programs, the After-school Arts program, semi-monthly Elder Arts entertainment, and the annual Applause Young Artists program.

Chefs interested in taking up the challenge can call Arts Outreach at 688-9533 or download an entry form at www.artsoutreach.com. Chefs will receive a free ticket as well as a half-price ticket for a spouse or a friend. Educators in the Santa Ynez Valley will also be eligible for half-price tickets.

Tickets are $65 in advance and $70 at the door. They can also be purchased online.