Voting is underway in Beyond Hunger’s home edition of their annual Healthy Chef Challenge at The event, designed to bring awareness to Beyond Hunger’s food and nutrition programming, features an array of dishes created by youth, amateur, and professional cooks utilizing pantry staples and a dreaded mystery ingredient.

“This event spreads awareness and creates a sense of fun around the importance of good nutrition,” said Sarah Abboreno Corbin, Beyond Hunger’s communications manager. “It was so fun to hand out the bags and see people connecting at a time when we can finally start connecting again. This is an opportunity for people to share their creativity.”

Participants were all given dry great northern beans, canned mandarin oranges and fresh collard greens to include in their creations. Each cook also blindly selected a unique and challenging fourth ingredient. Notable curveball selections included ketchup, maraschino cherries, coconut wraps, sardines, and condensed cream of portabella soup. Resulting dishes include citrus glazed salmon, Cat’s greens and beans, tropical spring rolls and vegan garden flat bread.

Community members are encouraged to vote for their favorite dish in each category and may return to vote every 24 hours. While on the site voters can donate to Beyond Hunger and bid on a hand-crafted cutting board. 

Winning chefs will be announced on June 25 via Facebook Live. 

Editor’s Note: Oak Park Eats editor, Melissa Elsmo, threw her hat in the ring in the professional category with a “Haute and Healthy” dish featuring a can of artichokes.

Join the discussion on social media!