Taste of Fame

  • Thank-You-Sponsors_Slider
  • TOF-Next-Chef_Slider_No-Button
Thank you to those who joined us for our 7th Annual Taste of Fame culinary fundraiser. Stayed connected and receive the news first on who our 8th Annual Taste of Fame celebrity chef will by subscribing to our newsletter at http://eepurl.com/bVVq_X

Roasted Squash and Carrot Salad with Chickpeas and Almonds


Serves 4



-1 large acorn squash, or 2 small delicata squash, quartered, seeded, and sliced ½ inch thick (no need to peel)

-3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks

-1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds

-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

-Kosher salt

-Freshly ground black pepper

-One 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

-2 escarole hearts, coarsely chopped

-2-ounce piece ricotta salata

-1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted




Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with a baking sheet on the bottom rack. Toss the squash and carrots in a large bowl with the ground fennel and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; season with ½ teaspoon salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Spread the vegetables on the baking sheet, and roast until almost tender, about 20 minutes. Set the bowl aside.

Add the chickpeas to the baking sheet with the squash and carrots, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar and 1 additional tablespoon of the olive oil. Stir to coat everything in the oil on the baking sheet, and continue to roast until the vegetables are browned and tender and the chickpeas have begun to crisp, 8 to 10 minutes more.

While they’re still warm, put the contents of the baking sheet in the bowl used to toss the vegetables. Dress with the remaining tablespoon of the vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the escarole, and toss well. Shred the ricotta salata over top with a vegetable peeler, and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Serve immediately.


Beer-Braised Beef Short Ribs 

(Served with Polenta)

Serves 6



-¼ cup dried porcini-

-1 cup slivered almonds, toasted

-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

-4 pounds bone-in beef shortribs

-Kosher salt

-Freshly ground black pepper

-3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks

-2 tablespoons tomato paste

-1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

-2 fresh bay leaves

-12 ounces dark ale

-6 cups chicken stock

-3 medium onions, cut into 1-inch chunks

-1 pound small red potatoes, halved

-2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley




Combine the porcini and almonds in the work bowl of a mini–food processor. Pulse to make an almost smooth pestata.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the short ribs with 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Brown the short ribs all over, removing them to a plate as they brown, about 5 minutes per batch.

Add the carrots, and toss to coat in the oil. Cook the carrots until they begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes; then make a space in the pan, and add the tomato paste there. Cook and toast the tomato paste in that space until it darkens a shade or two, about 1 minute. Add the thyme and bay leaves, and stir to combine. Add the pestata, and stir to toast lightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the beer, bring it to a boil, and cook until the beer is reduced by half. Add back the short ribs, and add 4 cups of the chicken stock. Adjust the heat so the liquid is simmering, set the lid ajar, and simmer until the short ribs are almost tender, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.

Add the remaining 2 cups stock, the onions, and the potatoes. Return to a simmer, and cook until everything is very tender and the sauce is thick and flavorful, about 40 to 50 minutes more. Stir in the parsley, remove the bay leaves, and serve.


Basic Polenta

(Served with Beer-Braised Beef Short Ribs)


Serves 6



-5 cups water (or half water and half milk, for a richer taste)

-1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

-1 fresh bay leaf

-1 tablespoon kosher salt

-1½ cups coarse yellow cornmeal

-Cooked polenta is delicious served as is, but if you would like to add additional flavor, all or just one or two of the following additions, whipped into the hot polenta, are great options:

-4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

-1 cup grated Grana Padano

-½ cup mascarpone

-½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola




In a large saucepan, combine the water (or water and milk), olive oil, bay leaf, and salt, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Very slowly, sift the cornmeal by handfuls into the pot, through the fingers of one hand, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk to remove any lumps.


Once all of the cornmeal is added, adjust the heat so just a few lazy bubbles pop to the surface. Continue to cook and stir until the polenta is smooth and thick and pulls away from the sides of the pan as it is stirred, about 30 to 35 minutes.


To serve, beat in the finishing items of your choice.


Discard the bay leaf, pour the polenta into a serving bowl or onto a wooden board, and allow it to rest a few minutes.


To serve from the bowl, dip a large spoon into hot water and scoop the polenta onto individual dishes, dipping the spoon into the water between scoops. To serve from the board, cut polenta into segments with a thin, taut string or knife, and transfer to plates with a spatula or cake server.



(Served with Braised Broccoli Rabe)


Serves 4



-4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds), trimmed of the fat and Gristle
-Kosher salt
-1 cup buttermilk
-1 1/2 cups pranko breadcrumbs
-3/4 freshly grated grana padano
-1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Sicilian, on the branch
-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
-2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus 1/4 cup leaves, and whole sprigs for garnish
-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-2 cups prepared fresh tomato sauce
-4 slices low-moisture mozzarella



Season the chicken breasts with salt, and place them in a resealable plastic bag. Pour in the buttermilk, and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Drain the chicken, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, toss together the panko, grated Grana Padano, dried oregano, chopped parsley, chopped basil, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to incorporate everything fully into the crumbs.

Put the drained chicken breasts in the bowl with the seasoned breadcrumbs one at a time, and pat well on both sides so the crumbs cover the chicken on all sides. Set the breaded chicken breasts on the parchment paper, arranged so they don’t touch each other.

Bake the chicken until the coating is crisp and browned and the chicken is just cooked through, about 15 minutes. While the chicken bakes, combine the tomato sauce, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and ¼ cup basil leaves in a blender, and purée until smooth. Season with salt. Pour the purée into a small saucepan, and warm it over low heat.


When the chicken is just cooked through, top with the sliced mozzarella and bake until the cheese is just melted, about 2 minutes. Spread the tomato emulsion on plates, top with the chicken, and serve.


Broccoli Rabe Braised with Olive Oil And Garlic

(Served with Chicken Pizzaiola)


Serves 4



-1 pound broccoli rabe

-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

-Kosher salt

-¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste



Cut off the tough ends of the stems of the broccoli rabe. Then, holding a stem with the florets in hand, nick a little piece of the end of the stem with a paring knife, and pull the little piece of the stem toward you, peeling the stem partially. Continue working your way around the stem until it is peeled. As you peel the stem, some of the large tough outer leaves will also be removed; discard those as well. Repeat with the remaining stems. Wash and drain in a colander.


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Scatter the garlic over the oil, and cook, shaking the pan, until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the broccoli rabe, and season lightly with salt and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper. Stir and toss to distribute the seasonings.


Pour ¼ cup water into the skillet, and bring to a boil. Cover the skillet tightly, and cook, lifting the lid to turn the stalks occasionally, until the broccoli rabe is tender, about 13 minutes. Taste, and season with additional salt and crushed red pepper if necessary. Serve hot.



(Served with a Mixed Green Salad)



-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

-3 leeks, white and light-green parts, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2 inch thick

-1 bunch spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)

-8 large eggs

-1/2 cup milk

-kosher salt

-freshly ground black pepper

-2 cups 1/2-inch crustless country-bread cubes

-1/4 cup freshly grated grana padano

-1 ripe medium tomato, thinly sliced

-1 cup fresh ricotta





Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add the olive oil to a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the leeks, and cook until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the spinach; then cook and stir until it’s wilted, 5 to 7 minutes. Increase the heat, and cook away any moisture in the pan.


Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a large bowl with the milk, 1 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper. Add the bread cubes and grated cheese, and let soak until the bread is moistened, 5 minutes. Pour the egg-and-bread mixture into the skillet. Cook until the sides begin to set, 2 to 3 minutes. Set the sliced tomatoes on top of the egg mixture. Dollop the ricotta in the spaces between the tomato slices. Set the pan in the oven to bake until the frittata is set all the way through, 15 to 18 minutes. Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes before sliding it out and cutting it into wedges to serve.


Apple Cranberry Crumble

(Served with Vanilla Ice Cream)


Serves 6 to 8



-2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces, plus 1 tablespoon, softened, for the baking dish

-3 pounds cooking apples, such as Golden Delicious, peeled and cut into chunks

-2 cups fresh cranberries

-½ cup granulated sugar

-2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

-Kosher salt

-1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


-¾ cup all-purpose flour

-¾ cup chopped almonds

-¾ cup rolled oats (old-fashioned, not instant)

-¾ cup packed light-brown sugar

-½ teaspoon ground ginger

-¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

-Kosher salt

-1 stick unsalted butter, slightly softened


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large cast-iron skillet. Combine the apples, cranberries, granulated sugar, flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl, and toss well. Transfer to the skillet. Dot the top with the cold butter pieces.

Wipe out the bowl, and make the topping. Add the flour, almonds, oats, brown sugar, ginger, nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon salt to the bowl. Toss to combine. Cut the butter into five or six pieces. Work the butter in with your fingers until the topping is evenly moistened.

Squeeze clumps of the topping in your palm, a few tablespoons at a time, and scatter them over the fruit. Bake until the crumble topping is golden and crisp and the fruit juices are bubbly, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool on a rack, and serve warm or at room temperature. Served with ice cream.

Prior to Taste of Fame

General Questions about Taste of Fame: tasteoffame@wcny.org or (315) 925-1443.

Taste of Fame Virtual 2020


Chef Marcus cooks at Taste of Fame

tof_photos-06   tof_photos-08 tof_photos-09

Jeff Scheer, Chairman of the WCNY Board of Trustees and Taste of Fame Co-Chair enjoying the event with his wife, Abby,

and daughters, Sophie, Rachel, and Rose.

tof_photos-01 tof_photos-02

From left: Bonnie Jones, Gail Meagher, Charleen Stehle, and Mary Pat Oliker.


From left: Bill Porter, Don Stehle, and Walter Meagher enjoy Taste of Fame.


The Schimpff family enjoying the event.


In the News

Podcast from NewsChannel 570 WSYR

Check it out!



Check it out! Check it out!


Bon Appetit

Check it out!


Arizona Foothills Magazine

Check it out!


Austin Food Magazine

Check it out!



Check it out!


Food & Beverage Magazine

Check it out!

Chef Minutes


Become a Chef Minutes Sponsor Chef Minutes Videos

chef minutes_julia 2

Julia Collin Davison

Julia Collin Davison is an executive editorial director for America’s Test Kitchen. She is also host of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country and is an original cast member of both shows, which are two of the highest-rated instructional cooking shows on television.

Julia began working as a test cook for Cook’s Illustrated in 1999 and led recipe development for America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks for more than a decade.

Julia is a regular guest on The Dr. Oz Show, Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family, and QVC and has appeared on Fox & Friends and Today.

She graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1996, received an Augie Award from the Culinary Institute of America, and was inducted into the prestigious Disciples d’Escoffier Culinary Society in 2018. She is a Rochester, NY native.


chef minutes_ali
Ali Khan

Ali Khan is a television host and food writer/blogger/influencer sharing his love for food across multiple digital platforms. His breakout series, Cheap Eats ran for 5 seasons on Cooking Channel. He is a regular on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, a judge on Food Network’s Chopped +Chopped Junior and served as host of the fourth season of Spring Baking Championship, also on Food Network.

His food writing has appeared in Black Book Magazine, Urban Daddy, James Beard winner LA TACO, You Gotta Eat This as well as authoring his own food blog, Bang for your Burger Buck. His vlog series, “blackbookali” was part of Tastemade’s initial content launch.

Being the child of South Asian immigrants, Ali learned early on that exotic food to some is comfort food to others. He credits his upbringing in the middle of America with parents from literally the other side of the world with his intimate understanding of food and food cultures.

In addition to food writing, Ali is a natural born performer trained in the Theatrical Arts at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Southern California where he earned his B.A. in Theater Studies. His passion for performance and all things epicurean eventually led him to Food Network, where his earliest appearances include Grill It with Bobby Flay and the Best Thing I Ever Made. Producer credits include Food Network’s $24 in 24, Thanksgiving Live and he helped develop projects for Jeff Mauro, Alton Brown and Simon Majumdar.

In 2015, Ali premiered his very own show, Cheap Eats, on Cooking Channel . Armed with a budget of only $35, Ali takes a culinary tour of the US on a budget almost anyone can afford. Cheap Eats aired for 5 seasons spanning 40 states and 59 cities in as many episodes.

In 2018, Ali joined Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship as the host for the 4th season. Ali has made numerous appearances on Food Network’s Chopped and Chopped Junior, Best Thing I Ever Ate.

In 2020, Ali launched Good Sauce, a YouTube Channel dedicated to his two loves: food and comedy. The first series, Ali vs The Dome releases new episodes every Thursday.

He currently resides in Austin TX.

Brad Miller

Brad’s love of cooking was instilled in him from a young age. Growing up in a suburb of Chicago, Brad spent much of his childhood cooking alongside his grandmother and lending a hand in his father’s butcher shop. Deciding to transform this passion into his career, Miller enrolled in Scottsdale Culinary Institute’s Cordon Bleu program. Upon graduating, he worked for Arizona’s 5-Star Latilla at the Boulders and 4-Star Wright’s at the Arizona Biltmore, before heading to Los Angeles’ Michelin-starred Patina. From there, he went on to become Executive Chef of LA’s most romantic restaurant, Inn of the Seventh Ray. There, he received praise from many outlets, including The Los Angeles Times’ top food critic S. Irene Virbila.

Brad is currently the Chef and Co-Owner at Inn of the Seventh Ray restaurant, corporate chef and tastemaker for Five Star Senior Living, one of the country’s most prestigious retirement companies. He is also the owner of Brown Butter Productions, a catering and content production company.

Brad is a much sought-after television personality, appearing on channels such as VH1, NBC, FOX, Food Network, Cooking Channel, PBS, AWE, VICE, Travel Channel, Tasted Channel and The Hallmark Channel. Catch Brad on his very own show “Food Truck Nation” which is currently airing its second season on The Cooking Channel. You can also find Brad on “Best Thing I Ever Ate,” currently airing on Food Network.

Laura Theodore_photo-01
Laura Theodore

Laura Theodore is a nationally recognized television personality, podcast radio host, celebrity PBS vegan chef, renowned jazz singer and award-winning author of five plant-based cookbooks.

Laura is co-creator of the highly successful Jazzy Vegetarian cooking series on national public television and she is host of the Jazzy Vegetarian Podcast on Unity Online Radio.

Laura is author of five cookbooks, including Jazzy Vegetarian’s Deliciously Vegan, which won silver medals at the 2018 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, Midwest Book Awards and the 2019 Living Now Book Awards. Her new cookbook, Vegan for Everyone; 160 Family Friendly Recipes with a Delicious Modern Twist was recently released by Scribe Publishing Company. Laura and Jazzy Vegetarian are recipients of the Taste Award for Best Health and Fitness Television Program (Food and Diet), and Jazzy Vegetarian was inducted into the Taste Hall of Fame.

Laura has been on the cover of three prestigious magazines; American Vegan, Jazzin’, and La Fashionista Compassionista. She has made guest appearances on The Talk on CBS, Insider/Entertainment Tonight and the WCBS News Radio Health & Wellbeing Report. Laura has been featured in the New York Times, New York Daily News, Mother Earth Living, VegNews, Family Circle, Readers Digest and PBS Food, among other highly respected news, food, music and lifestyle-related journals.

As a globally recognized award-winning jazz singer and songwriter, Laura has recorded six solo CDs, including her award-winning disc, “Tonight’s the Night,” which received a Musician Magazine Award. Her CD release with the late, great Joe Beck entitled “Golden Earrings,” (on the Whaling City Sound label) was on the GRAMMY® list in the category of “Best Jazz Vocal Album.” Laura has toured throughout the country, performing at numerous major events, such as Night of 100 Stars, Fire and Ice Ball, and The American Film Awards.

 On the acting side of things, Laura has appeared in over sixty plays and musicals including Off-Broadway for two years in the hit show “Beehive,” which earned her a coveted Backstage Bistro Award. She was honored with the Denver Critics Drama Circle Award as “Best Actress in a Musical,” for her starring role as Janis Joplin in the world premier production of “Love, Janis.”

With her love for good food, compassion for animals and enthusiasm for great music, multi-talented personality, Laura Theodore truly is the Jazzy Vegetarian. Learn more about Laura and Jazzy Vegetarian at: www.jazzyvegetarian.com

Joanne Weir

A 4th-generation professional cook, Joanne Weir spent five years cooking at Chez Panisse after receiving a Master Chef Diploma with Madeleine Kamman.  Joanne travels and teaches cooking classes extensively throughout the world, including Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Morocco, Australia, New Zealand.  She also teaches at events across the United States and in her San Francisco studio kitchen. Joanne is co-owner of Copita, an award-winning modern Mexican restaurant and tequileria in Sausalito, California.

Joanne is a James Beard award-winning cookbook author and has written 17 cookbooks, including her most recent food memoir, Kitchen Gypsy: Stories and Recipes from a Lifetime Romance with Food, published in September 2015.  Joanne writes for several national publications, including Sunset Magazine, Cooking Light, Better Homes and Gardens, Fine Cooking, and Food & Wine.

Joanne is also the host and Executive Producer for several award-winning television series.   Her latest show, “Joanne Weir’s Plates & Places,” earned nominations for several Taste Awards and was chosen as the “Best New Series” in 2018.  Filmed on location around the globe, each episode provides viewers with a virtual trip to several of Joanne’s culinary destinations.  The series is currently in its third season and airs nationwide on both Public Television and Create in over 94% of US households.

Methin “Max” Chuthinthranondlemon grass

Methin “Max” Chuthinthranond and his wife Pook are the founders, owners, and operators of the award-winning Lemon Grass & Bistro Elephant Steakhouse located in Armory Square, Syracuse for more than 20 years. They also operate the sister location, Citronelle, a New-American and Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, bar, and event space.


Taste of Fame Virtual 2021

Thank You for Attending Our Taste of Fame Virtual Event with Chef Lidia Bastianich!

Sponsorship opportunities available!
(315) 453-2424

Thank you to our sponsors!

Presenting Sponsors:

Wegmans-Logo no background    vision

Photography Sponsor:


Dessert Sponsor:


Wine Sponsor:


VIP Meet & Greet Sponsor:


Gold Sponsor:


Swag Sponsor:

seaboard 3

Hair & Makeup Sponsor:



Main Silent Auction Sponsor: Jeffrey and Abby Scheer

Silent Auction Donors:

5 Wits110 grillPrintApex EntertainmentBodymindLogo

BeeKind logoCJS Vineyardsburied acornBaltimore Woods Nature CenterBoundary BreaksBarnes & Noble

Beekman_Logo_Rev2019_Final_Beekman HorizontalCOURTYARD_LOGO_TRADEMARK_PMSDuFore's for DiamondsCazenovia Jewelry Carol Watson GreenhousePrint

1911_Full Logo Solid_notagBersani galleryCopper TurretCabot_LogoBig Apple MusicFLX Provisions

BSLOGO           Butter Nut Cove          Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters        Ithaca Beer Co.         Goldmine Jewelers           Maple Hill Nursery

Dinosaur BarBQueFOCLCrazy DaisiesSyracuse MetsScratch BakehousePeter Harris Clothes

Hosmer WineryLamoreaux Landing         Hammock Cove-Elite Island ResortsHand in Health MassageHeron Hill WineryHopshire Farm and Brewery

Hunt Country Vineyards         LakeDrumLogo400W         Lock 1 Distilling Co        Recess-Coffee-tree-logo-(4)        Symphoria         Sweet on Chocolate

Mackenzie childs       Greenview Country Club  Stickley-Furniture           Spa On The River        MOST         princess-house

PastabilitiesPineapple Beach Club - Elite Island ResortsJ Michael Original ShoesRedhouse LogoJacobsen RugsLily's Nail Spa

Rosamond Gifford Zoo        saltcitylogo         MIC logos        Matt Brewing Company       Freeman & Foote Jewelers            The REV Theatre Co.

Once Finger LakesManlius Jewelry & RepairSyracuse Cratesyracuse university athleticsThe Tailor & The CookRaphael's Men's Shop

Tassone's Wine GardenJefferson Clinton SuitesThe Verandah Resort - Elite Island ResortsSyracuse OperaSt James Club - Elite Island ResortsFrontenac-Point-Logotype

Vince's Gourmet logoWeisEversonThe Club Barbados - Elite Island ResortsSyracuse SoapworksThe Inn at Saratoga

Rome-Country-ClubSeneca Lake Wine Trail logoDelmonico's Italian Steakhousestrawberry fieldsPrime Steak Houselimp lizard

Woodcrest Golf Club           Maxie's Supper Club & Oyster Bar-01           Hollywodd Restaurant