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Local Chefs Turn The Table On Hunger In Cooking Competition

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Chefs from around Oklahoma City are getting an eye-opening look at homelessness. Chefs from around Oklahoma City are getting an eye-opening look at homelessness.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Chefs from around Oklahoma City are getting an eye-opening look at homelessness. Just like the big cooking challenges on television, the chefs had to come up with a meal plan using only donated items at the Day Shelter for the homeless.

It turned into a moving experience.

Chef Christine Dowd of Aunt Pittypat's Catering is the featured chef this month. She and other chefs from the finest metro restaurants have challenged each other to cook a meal for 300 people using only the daily donated ingredients.

“To be able to walk a mile in someone's shoes is always eye-opening, so that's been a really great experience and we are excited about what we were able to come up with,” said Dowd.

They came up with fried chicken, jalapeño cornbread, salad and desserts.

It is a treat for the Day Shelter clients.

“It's not like they get an opportunity to eat food prepared by kind of a celebrity chef,” said Dan Straughan, Executive Director of the Homeless Alliance.

The challenge is inspired by popular reality cooking competitions. The reality is, the Day Shelter cooks have to be creative every single day using limited items to make a balanced meals.

The challenge helps put a face on homelessness and hunger in Oklahoma.

“When I look out and I see the faces in the crowd, it could be my mother, it could be my brother, it could be my daughter,” Dowd said as she started crying. “That means a lot, so I hope what we can do opens everyone's eyes,” she added.

Chef Dowd said she has some great ideas on new recipes for the Day Shelter cooks to help them maximize their resources.

Chef Dowd will now challenge another local chef for next month.

The year-long “Turning the Table on Hunger” challenge kicked off in March with Chef Kurt Fleischfresser, executive chef of Vast and partner with Western Concepts Restaurants. He was followed by Russ Johnson, chef and owner of Ludivine and R&J Lounge and Supper Club.

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