‘Cookin with WHO?’ fundraiser brings community together for ‘enjoyable evening’

There’s a new “Platinum Spatula” award-winner in town.

Jane Maloney, executive director of Neighborhood Interfaith Movement, took home the culinary-themed prize Thursday night during the 2nd Annual “Cookin’ with WHO?” fundraiser.

Maloney bested nine other “celebrity” chefs from Mt. Airy during the event, which asks each competitor to prepare a dish to be judged for tastiness.

The evening also benefits three neighborhood nonprofits – East Mt. Airy Neighbors, NIM and the Lutheran Theological Seminar at Philadelphia.

“We do this event partly to have fun, partly to raise money, and partly to give some of our community leaders a chance to show another side of themselves as chefs with their recipes,” said Elayne Bender, EMAN’s executive director, inside The Brossman Center on Lutheran Seminary’s campus on Germantown Avenue.

Maloney’s recipe was entitled, “Autumnal Apples and Chicken,” a combo she got from a sister-in-law who lives in Illinois.

“It’s a thing of beauty, isn’t it?” said Maloney as she held the one-of-a-kind trophy, hand-crafted in Bender’s kitchen over the weekend.

Dishes were also prepared by noted locals such as Eighth District City Councilwoman Cindy Bass, ESPN Radio’s Phil “from Mt. Airy” Allen and Mt. Airy USA’s Anuj Gupta.

Rabbi George Stern, NIM’s former executive director, also participated.

“I would say fundraiser with a ‘D’ and fun-raiser, with a ‘D,'” said Stern when asked about the event. “It’s a great opportunity for the community to come together and to see people that you know but haven’t seen recently, and meet new folks, and just have an enjoyable evening out in Mt. Airy.”

Stern earned the “Platinum Spatula” last year. He said his recipe this year, stuffed cabbage with sweet-and-sour potted meatballs, couldn’t match last year’s performance.

“Last year was Hanukah recipes. It was brisket and two kinds of potato latkes, potato pancakes, and I think what put me over the top was one of them, curried sweet potato pancakes. We ran out,” recalled Stern.

Despite taking the honor of “Platinum Spatula Award-Winner” from Stern, Maloney had nothing but praise for her competitor

“I knew I had a formidable chef that I was competing against, but George and I are good friends and he was delighted to have the platinum spatula, so NIM is proud to have it in the years 2011 and now, 2012.”

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