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Iron Chef Detroit pits two top chefs together, raises funds for local nonprofit

The event raised funds for Cass Community Social Services, a Detroit organization providing housing, health care, jobs and food to the community
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Posted at 11:22 PM, Jun 13, 2024

DETROIT (WXYZ) — In a competition similar to Food Network's "Iron Chef," Cass Community Social Services held its first "Iron Chef Detroit" competition to raise funds for the nonprofit that serves over 700,000 meals to the Detroit community every year.

The competition brought out over 300 people to Eastern Market's Shed 5 in a friendly competition between SheWolf's executive chef Anthony Lombardo and culinary director of Make Food Not Waste Shanel DeWalt.

“It’s all for Cass Community Social Services, one of the best organizations in Detroit feeding thousands of people a day," Lombardo said.

Chef Shanel DeWalt participating in Iron Chef Detroit
Chef Shanel DeWalt participating in Iron Chef Detroit, a fundraising event supporting Cass Community Social Services. (June 13, 2024)

Cass Community Social Services has been providing essential services to Detroit residents since the Great Depression.

“Food, housing, health care and jobs," executive director Faith Fowler said about what the nonprofit provides to the community. "Tonight is about the food portion of what we do."

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Like many nonprofits, times get tough when funding runs out, but people still need services. Fowler says events like this help keep the organization afloat.

"It’s huge because we don’t have enough coming in in grant money to buy the food, make the food, deliver the food, so this fills in the gaps so we don’t have to shut the doors," she said.

Faith Fowler, executive director of Cass Community Social Services, talks about Iron Chef Detroit. (June 13, 2024)
Faith Fowler, executive director of Cass Community Social Services, talks about Iron Chef Detroit. (June 13, 2024)

According to Feeding America, food insecurity has only grown since COVID-19 and 1 in 6 Michigan children face hunger. That's why volunteers and chefs dedicated their time Thursday evening, highlighting Detroit organizations and food culture.

“We have some of the best chefs in the country and we want to showcase that and continue to showcase that. Some of the best restaurants in the country are right here," Lombardo said.

Chef Anthony Lombardo
Chef Anthony Lombardo wins Iron Chef Detroit, a fundraising event supporting Cass Community Social Services. (June 13, 2024)

Lombardo came away the Iron Chef Detroit winner. If you'd like to help Cass Community Social Services year-round, you can visit their website to learn more.