Second Annual “Men Who Cook” fundraiser turns up the heat on culinary competition

February 25

JOLIET – More than 50 local guys will prove they can take the heat inside the kitchen when they enter their best dishes in a wildly popular culinary competition to benefit the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center next month.

The Children’s Advocacy Center encourages everyone to bring their appetites to the second annual “Men Who Cook” fundraiser from 6-9 p.m., March 20 at the IBEW Local #176 Electrician’s Hall, 1100 NE Frontage Road in Joliet.

During the event, local amateur cooks will offer up for judging bite-size samples of the favorite dishes they serve their own families and friends. Guests will have a chance to taste and vote for their favorite dish in each of four categories: salad/appetizer; side dish; entrée; and dessert. WJOL’s Lynne, Mary and Natalie will emcee the event. 

The cost to sample the fine cuisine at “Men Who Cook” is $35 per person, $60 per couple.

This year, local chefs not only are trying to win the hearts and stomachs of the crowd, they will have their dishes judged by two local professional chefs. Chef Paul Buel of paulE’s Place in Mokena and Chef Paul Young of Chef Paul’s Steak and Chop House in Mokena will use their trained palates to select the “Chef’s Choice” champion in each of the categories.

The event also will feature a live auction with several prizes up for bid, including: a Joliet Jackhammers luxury suite and season ticket package; an “Elegant Dining in Your Home” dinner party by locally renowned chef Tom Grotovsky; a plane ride in a World War II-era T.M. Avenger plane donated by Tom Buck of Unit Step; and a tailgate party for 20 people at Joliet Catholic Academy’s opening game of the season donated by Tim Reilly and Babe’s Hot Dogs. 

The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center was established by Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow in 1995 to improve the way child sexual abuse cases are investigated. The center’s trained staff performs child-sensitive interviews when there are allegations of sexual or severe physical abuse. Children’s recorded statements have been used in the successful prosecution of hundreds of sexual predators. 

“Each day, the Children’s Advocacy Center deals with the serious problem of child abuse,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “This year’s ‘Men Who Cook’ competition offers everyone a chance to have some fun while they support the center’s critical work on behalf of children and law enforcement.”

The state’s attorney founded the center as a 501-c-3 non-profit organization so it would not impact Will County taxpayers. As a result, the center has relied on grants, foundations and fund raisers like “Men Who Cook” to operate over the years.

This year’s “Men Who Cook” sponsors include: Kozol Brothers, Inc., the Joliet Exchange Club, Northern Illinois Steel, Morris Hospital and Healthcare Centers, the Will County Police Chiefs Association, State Representative Careen Gordon, the Fraternal Order of Police Joliet Lodge 58, and Waste Management.

To order tickets, or to sponsor “Men Who Cook,” call the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center at (815) 774-4564. Or you can visit the event page at