Get ready to eat at 50 Men Who Cook fundraiser

  • Bloomingdale resident Richard Boyer once again will be serving up homemade ice cream with the help of his wife, Rose Marie, during the 50 Men Who Cook event.

    Bloomingdale resident Richard Boyer once again will be serving up homemade ice cream with the help of his wife, Rose Marie, during the 50 Men Who Cook event. Courtesy of District 93

  • Competitors are expected to prepare 15 different desserts for this weekend's 50 Men Who Cook event in Bloomingdale.

    Competitors are expected to prepare 15 different desserts for this weekend's 50 Men Who Cook event in Bloomingdale. Courtesy of the Bloomingdale Chamber of Commerce

  • Don't let the size of the food samples fool you. There will be a variety of culinary creations to fill you up during this weekend's 50 Men Who Cook event in Bloomingdale.

    Don't let the size of the food samples fool you. There will be a variety of culinary creations to fill you up during this weekend's 50 Men Who Cook event in Bloomingdale. Courtesy of the Bloomingdale Chamber of Commerce

 
 
Posted9/24/2014 12:30 PM

Bloomingdale will become a foodie paradise Saturday when the Bloomingdale Chamber of Commerce sponsors its annual 50 Men Who Cook event to help raise money for local schools.

Residents, community leaders and dignitaries are going to prepare recipes for attendees to sample and judge during the cook-off, which is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Hilton Chicago/Indian Lakes Resort, 250 W. Schick Road.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

But if your idea of men cooking involves hamburgers and hot dogs, think again. The list of dishes to be served up Saturday includes creamy Cajun shrimp, filet steak sliders, beef Wellington, crabcakes and grape salsa.

"The food is phenomenal," said Jane Hove, president and CEO of the chamber of commerce. "Some of the stuff is like going to a five-star restaurant."

The quality of the food samples is one reason the event is expected to draw more than 450 people to Indian Lakes' east pavilion tent. There's also going to be live music and raffle prizes.

"It's amazing how many community members come out," said Jim Doyle, a participating cook. "It's a pretty big event, and it continues to get better each and every year."

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Doyle is the principal at Stratford Middle School, one of five public schools in Bloomingdale that benefit from 50 Men Who Cook. The other schools that receive event proceeds are Winnebago Elementary School in Marquardt Elementary District 15 and all three schools in Bloomingdale Elementary District 13.

Richard Boyer, a board member in Carol Stream Elementary District 93, which includes Stratford Middle School, says he's going to participate for a third straight year because it's an enjoyable way to give back to the community.

"I'm no cook," Boyer said. "I don't know how to cook. That's why I'm making ice cream. It's fun to do and I like good ice cream."

Participants will compete in five categories, including appetizer, entree, side dish and dessert. The final category is for professional cooks.

Village President Franco Coladipietro, who won the entree category last year, plans to prepare barbecue sandwiches. Another returning cook, Stan Poplonski, has dominated the dessert category for four years with his cake balls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"He's doing 16 flavors of cake balls," Hove said. "What's not to like?"

Tickets are $30. But with so many food options, Hove said, attendees get their money's worth.

"It's a 54-course meal for $30," said Hove, referring to the total number of dishes.

In fact, Hove recommends attendees pace themselves while eating the samples.

"I go in, and I walk around," she said. "I look to see what's available. Then I figure out what I want to eat first."

Finally, don't make dinner reservations for after the event.

"It's unnecessary," Hove said.

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