Everyone Has A Story

EHAS Executive chef’s cook-off competition-Three on three Kids edition

A competition for the books
EHAS INC. host their first EHAS Executive chef’s cook-off competition – Three on three Kids edition at the Luminary Hotel, A gem of the downtown Ft. Myers River District, the AAA Four-Diamond Luminary Hotel & Co., Autograph Collection is a hub where colorful and creative characters come together to enlighten and write new adventures of their own.
The creative minds of EHAS came up with this concept to have young teenagers in groups of threes go up against each other in a cook-off battle where viewers across southwest Florida would get a chance to watch aspiring cooks demonstrate their creativity and impressive skills in the kitchen. Not just fantastic and tasty-looking dishes were on full display by these executive chefs and ambitious, hopeful kids as they strived to make their dreams come true.

The event was headlined by three executive cooking Chefs and nine promising youths, most notably Chef Richard Smith, AKA Chef Dro, Chef Stephanie Blades, and Chef Heimann. In the first round, the kids were mentored and guided to execute the main course meal, followed by dessert. The evening started with entertainment by violinist Luna Muni during the cocktail hour; during her performance, the attendee got the opportunity to try nine different Hors d’oeuvres Chef Richard Smith and his team (three teenagers from The Stars Complex) prepared Vegans R’ People too salad, a steak crostini, and an excellent Cajun shrimp. Chef Stephanie Blades and her team (three teenagers from the village school of Naples) prepared sesame lion heads, ground turkey wrapped in rice with ginger garlic sauce, Rasta pasta, crisp, vegetable spring rolls, and dessert cream puffs with assorted fruit coulis and Chef Mark Heimann and his team (three teenagers from the village school of Naples) prepared Dates, goat cheese, Iberico, Parmesan crisp, smoked salmon mousse and squash blossom, pimento ricotta, crostini each Hors d’oeuvres was delicious as they sound, every attendee tried each and then voted what Hors d’oeuvres stood out to them.

The EHAS team provides QR codes each attendee uses to vote on their phones. Chef Richard Smith came out on top with the Steak Crostini. Before the trophies came out, the Chefs got a chance to compete against each. Chef Heimann came out with sea scallops, corn risotto, butternut squash, and sage brown butter. Chef Richard came out with the herb-crusted lamb rack finished with bourbon, maple syrup, blueberry sauce, purple asparagus, and creamer potatoes roasted in duck fat. And Chef Stephanie came out with the Rasta pasta with pan-seared chicken breasts, and again Chef Richard came out on top. Cornell Bunting, the founder of EHAS INC., said this cooking competition is a fantastic way to bring disadvantaged youths with their family together for a bit of fun and excitement.

With delicious food and a healthy portion of some friendly competition, our team ensured all attendees enjoyed an incredible night of teen cooking. The teens understand when challenged with conflicts that don’t get resolved, with low productivity, or friends who don’t communicate, working within a specific time to complete a task requires teamwork, and they understood that from the competition. The teens get to overcome the weaknesses of awkward parties; with EHAS cooking competitions, everyone can relate to food in the kitchen. In addition, Bunting said EHAS believe that a cooking competition with a structured format is the environment that lets his team, and the teens feel comfortable to come together and express their creativity. The way EHAS laid out the event program was pretty cool, and a professional chef would guide each teen to keep them on course. Each group is then given a recipe for the food course. Under the time limits of competition, the group starts to communicate and collaborate to become an effective team.

The framework builds camaraderie as participants prepare and cook their meals so that everyone can enjoy the results.
At the end of the 30 minutes, each team got to present their finished meal to the judges. A bit of creativity in the presentation made the difference in a close race between the teens. Finally, the teams are debriefed on their team skills with a chance for everyone to consider what they’ve learned from the activity. With the cooking competition, the teen quickly learns how to bring out the strengths in their team members, playing on their creativity and innovation to defeat the competition. Whether they have an eye for presentation or work well under strict time constraints, each teen would become an essential part of the process. EHAS understands that you can use those same strengths, innovation, and creative thinking skills in your community.

Cornell Bunting said that EHAS INC. is here to help strengthen communities by providing the educational, health, and social services that our disadvantaged youths need, and the government cannot fully provide. But we want potential sponsors and supporters to understand that we can only fulfill our missions when they support us with their treasures to fill hope. This cooking event undoubtedly helped attendees realize how desperately our communities need the services of EHAS and the awareness of the mission. Mr. Bunting said people could call and ask how they can get involved. EHAS is here to help make their communities thrive.

Without this organization, our youths won’t fully understand self-reliance and have a developed mindset. I love that EHAS’s guiding principle is to empower storytellers who create or expand self-sustaining communities that benefit our youths. They cultivate a purpose-driven mindset through mental wellness and financial literacy. Well, until EHAS’s next big event, I’ll be writing you, and do remember, everyone has a story.

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