Food lovers gathered at the Massillon Museum Saturday evening for Celebrity Chef Showdown. Executive Director Alexandra Nicholis Coon said the event, which paired local chefs with Stark County celebrities, coincides with the current museum exhibit, “A Heritage of Harvest, The Industry of Agriculture in Western Stark County,” presented in collaboration with StarkFresh, and complements Stark County’s 2019 ProjectEAT!
Executive Director Tom Phillips said StarkFresh, a nonprofit serving Stark County, addresses the causes of hunger and creates realistic pathways out of poverty through food distribution, education and promotion of local food.
Chef Brianna Welk of Hazel and Rye Artisan Baking Co. teamed up with former NFL linebacker Shawn Crable; chef Jonathan Schuster of Street Side/Whiskey Alley paired with Corey Minor Smith, general counsel for the Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority; and Marcus Tate, chef for Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, joined Ally Bussey, president of Visit Canton.
Crable brought along his own cheering section, his wife, Sasha, and family members Willie Dillard, Sonja Dillard, and Shantor Crable. Aimee Schlernitz came to cheer on Corey Minor Smith, who said she will introduce her new song “Hashtag Driven” next on July 4.
Eleven-year-old Liam Lynch is just beginning to cook and came to pick up tips from the professional chefs. Mandy Stahl introduced her six-month old son, Donovan, who enjoyed his first museum party with his grandparents, Debbie and Rick Altimas. Also enjoying the event were Eva Leigh Houghton, Phyllis Mehaney, Susan Gessner, Jason Benjamin, Larry and Maude Slagle, Jason and Sarah Lynch, and Matthew and Kelly Onest.
While the chefs cooked, the audience enjoyed small plates served by StarkFresh and visited the museum galleries and the Paul Brown exhibit.
After careful consideration of all of the delectable dishes prepared by the chefs, judges Mary Jane Corwin, Bonnie Fall and Sean Houghton awarded the winning trophy to the team of Shawn Crable and Welk. Crable celebrated with a victory lap around the room.