Meet the 2014 Diabetes Cook Off Judges
The 3rd Annual Diabetes Cook Off will be held on Saturday, November 15, 2014 at the Washburne Culinary Institute located at 740 West 63rd St, Building U, on the South Side of Chicago. Twelve amateur cooks will compete for a $500 Grand Prize, and many other great prizes. We?ve invited experts in health, community, and cooking to judge the dishes. Read more about our panel of experts below and be sure to see them pick the winner live! This is a free and family-friendly event, open to the public at 12:30 PM.
These are the experts who will crown the winners.
Head Judge ? Chef Brian Alston
Owner, Xclusive Catering
Chef Brian Alston is the owner of Xclusive Catering and has over 25 years of cooking experience. He is active with many non-profit organizations throughout the city, performing healthy cooking demos for the American Diabetes Expo and American Heart Association. His reputation has led him to cook for many celebrities, such as Jennifer Hudson, Michael Jordan, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Chef David Blackmon
Program Coordinator, Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Agriculture Science Education Programs, Chicago Public Schools
Children plus nutrition equals positive educational value. This is the recipe for success that Fuels Chef David Blackmon. He has over 25 years of experience as a professional chef along with many years of restaurant experience. Chef Blackmon is currently the Career Technical Education Program Coordinator of the Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Agriculture Science Education Programs in Chicago Public Schools.
Sheila Harmon, APN, CDE
Regional Manager, Access Community Health Network
Sheila Harmon has over 20 years of healthcare experience. She is currently a Regional Operations Manager for Access Community Health Network and a board member for the Chicago Chapter of the ADA. As a nurse practitioner and certified diabetes educator, she empowers patients across Chicago with the knowledge to know how to prevent and control diabetes. Her motto is: Take Control of Diabetes, Before It Takes Control of You ? You are EMPOWERED.
Founder, Julian D. King Gift Foundation
Julia Hudson is a philanthropist and founder of the Julian D. King Gift Foundation, a charitable organization named in honor of her son, Julian King. She actively supports the Chicago community through her foundation, providing stability and positive experiences for children and families of all backgrounds. As a woman living with diabetes, Julia understands the importance of healthy nutrition in the management of the disease.
Radio Host, WVON AM 1690
Cliff Kelley of radio station WVON (AM 1690) has been the host of WVON?s popular morning-drive talk show ?The Cliff Kelley Show? for more than seven years, and also hosts V103FM Sunday mornings. He brings a wealth of knowledge on local, national and international affairs to his audience. A Chicago native and attorney, Kelley has been active in Chicago?s political arena for more than 30 years.
Chef Cordell McGary
Founder, Eating Well with Chef Cordell
Chef Cordell McGary is a Washburne Culinary Institute Alumnus and the founder of Eating Well with Chef Cordell. As a private chef, instructor, consultant, public speaker and freelance writer, Chef Cordell & his team are focused on improving the health of consumers through education, access to healthy and fresh foods, and community service.
Chef Matthias Merges
Founder, Pilot Light
Matthias Merges is the award winning Executive Chef of Yusho and Billie Sunday, in Logan Square, and A10, in Hyde Park. Matthias has spent most of two decades cooking and living in Chicago, most notably as the Executive Chef at Charlie Trotters for the past 14 years. He is a founder and the president of the board of Pilot Light, a nonprofit organization working in Chicago schools to empower children with healthy relationships with food.
Community Relations, Save-A-Lot
Chon Tomlin oversees Corporate Communications and Community relations for Save-A-Lot food stores, a leading hard-discount grocery chain. With more than 15 years of experience representing major national brands, Chon has acquired a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience in community-based program development.