by Kelsey Shea
Saturday morning, chefs from restaurants across the city gathered at the New Hazlett Theater and served brunch to 250 guests for the second annual Food Pantry Brunch Challenge.
Chefs whipped up frittatas, deviled eggs, Thai brunch and more for the competition, but what was unique about the selections served is that all the brunch entrees were made all with food items commonly found in food banks.
The Food Pantry Brunch Challenge is an annual event that benefits Northside Common Ministries and challenges chefs to create unique and tasty brunch items using dried and canned food.
“We were very happy with the event,” said NCM Executive Director Jay Poliziani. “Everyone enjoyed themselves and the food and especially the music. The great benefit to the NCM food pantry from this event is the visibility to the need for food and funding to provide food to the ever increasing number of food insecure people in our region.”
The 250 guests bought tickets, sampled the twelve brunch selections and voted on their favorite item.
This year, the event raised over $2,700 for the Northside Common Ministries food bank which serves over 1,000 families in need, largely in the Northside area, without government funding.
NSCM Executive Director said that $2,700 is enough to purchase 270 cases of canned vegetables, which will last the pantry 27 weeks.
The Pittsburgh Banjo Club provided the morning’s music and a festive atmosphere from a raised stage above the main floor.
This year’s winners were from Springboard Kitchens, which is a local program that trains men and women with troubled backgrounds to be chefs.