On a very drizzly Sunday, November 2, 61 people attended the Kiss-Off Cancer Cook-Off 2014. After a Halloween candy binge, this event was an opportunity to try out some incredibly healthy, cancer-preventative foods. This year, the $30 entry gave you an opportunity to try all of the 21 community entry dishes along with mini-meals provided by the celebrity chefs of local restaurants: Alpine Grind, Gabriella’s Restaurant and Ying Café.
Along with the slate of chefs, the Kiss-Off Cancer Cook-Off recruited four celebrity judges to critique not only the taste and presentation of the food, but to review the lists of ingredients and judge them on their creative use of anti-cancer ingredients. The judges for the evening were Christine Derosa, Foods, Socials and English teacher at JL Crowe; Dawn Manning, owner of Bear Country Kitchen; Patrick Maloney, both a sommelier and co-owner of the newly built Kootenay Smokehouse (located at the Slocan Junction); and Michel Valiquette, Ferraro Foods’ own cheese connoisseur and also a sommelier. The judges tasted their way through appetizers, mains and desserts and announced the following winners in each category, both for celebrity chefs and the public:
Co-organizing the event were Deb Dovgala and Diana Daghofer, fundraising volunteer for the host organization Prevent Cancer Now. Diana gives full credit to Deb, “the Kiss-Off Cancer Cook-Off is the brainchild of Deb Dovgala.” Deb elaborates on the idea with her personal story of how her mom was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago and with her first diagnosis and operation, she made some eating habits and lifestyle changes. This lead Deb to read Anticancer: A New Way of Life, written by David Servan-Schreiber. It was the section on types of food that prevent inflammation and (were) termed anti-cancer ingredients that inspired her to create an event as a way for people to start talking about what we eat.
Diana noted that the event has raised over $20,000. The funds support education efforts on cancer prevention, in-line with Prevent Cancer Now’s mission of building a Canada-wide movement to eliminate the preventable causes of cancer. A fun event, Diana recognizes how the “chefs go all-out to create new dishes using the anti-cancer ingredients.”
John Snelgrove of the Grind enjoyed the event and is hoping his participation can inspire others by showing that healthy food can taste really good.
“You just need to find a good recipe, experiment, and try it,” Snelgrove stated.
For more information on the work Prevent Cancer Now does, and to find a complete list of the anti-cancer ingredients as adapted from Anticancer: A New Way of Life, please visit their website at www.preventcancernow.ca.