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Local cooks prepare to compete in Food Pantry Throwdown

Nine members of the Lehigh Valley Jewish community will participate in the main ticketed virtual event of The Great JFS FoodFestFaire on Nov. 8. What do they all have in common? They love to cook.

The “Chopped”-style contest will consist of three rounds of dishes created by these contestants, judged on creativity and how well they integrate the given ingredients, presentation and overall taste. The ingredients assigned to them will come from the Jewish Family Service Community Food Pantry’s kosher section. 

Round One is appetizers, prepared by well-known amateur “home chefs” from the community:  Terrence Baker, Jane Levine and Judith Rodwin.

Following them, three professional chefs will try their hand at the main entree portion. These will be Leslie Goldsmith, Mary Grube and Eric Rappoport.

Finally, the kids will provide a sweet ending to the competition with the dessert round. The school-age competitors are Jackson Bub, Thalia Levine and Shelby Tenzer.

Judging the dishes will be the Scherline family.

Following a full day of food-related videos running on the JFS Facebook page and website, at 4 p.m. the Food Pantry Throwdown will go live via Zoom, when host Naomi Schachter will be joined by the contestants and judges to have the culinary creations unveiled and the winners announced.

To learn more and get your ticket to the event, visit