Just when you start to think brunch can’t get any better, Pittsburgh finds a new way to incorporate the meal in a beneficial way.
The Northside Common Ministries held its fourth annual Food Pantry Brunch Challenge January 31 at the New Hazlett Theater to benefit the food pantry. Chefs from Eat’n Park, Priory Fine Pastries, Rivers Casino, Strictly Business Catering, Thai Me Up and Whole Foods competed in the challenge this year by serving 250 guests.
The Food Pantry Brunch Challenge tested chefs to create dishes for the fundraiser with ingredients and foods distributed at the pantry. Eat’n Park’s corporate chef, Regis Holden, whipped up his wife’s macaroni casserole — elbow macaroni, ground beef, Velveeta and tomato soup. Clinton Bleil, owner of Strictly Business Catering, prepared pulled pork with root beer barbecue sauce and mushrooms cooked with Kentucky bourbon. Ultimately the guests voted for their favorite chef, Noi Chaisri — the owner of Thai Me Up created a vegetable fried rice and red curry chicken sauce.
The event was created to raise funds for the food pantry because there is a lag of donations after the holidays which needed to be addressed. But also, the event is to raise awareness and showcase the ‘richness, diversity and variety’ of items the organizations provide at the pantry, said Lisa Scales, CEO of Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, a partner of Northside Common Ministries.
And even though we may not all be renowned chefs, we are capable of throwing together items around the house to put a nice meal on the table… especially for brunch!