Salem's Best Chef Fundraiser planned for September 6 at Ames Hall

Fundraiser to benefit the Salem YMCA’s Annual Campaign

Salem, MA – The Salem YMCA will be host to its first annual Salem’s Best Chef fundraising event featuring chefs from Finz, 62 Restaurant and Wine Bar, Ugly Mug Diner and Scratch Kitchen and entertainment from Branches Steel Orchestra. The event is planned for Saturday, September 6 from 6-8pm in Ames Hall at the Salem YMCA and is being sponsored by the Salem Waterfront Hotel.

For the competition portion of the event, each chef will be given a basket of secret ingredients, “Chopped” style. The majority of the ingredients will be sourced from the Salem Farmers Market.  In the basket there will be a protein, a vegetable, a fruit and a unique spice provided by Picklepot as well as some other surprises. 

There will be a panel of judges that each chef will be asked to prepare a dish for in about an hour’s time. Keith Spencer, Publisher and Editor of NoBo Magazine and Jessica Alves, owner of Dinner Dealer will be 2 of the judges on the panel. Karen Scalia of Salem Food Tours will serve as the MC for the competition with Mark Scalia adding commentary and laughs to the rest of the evenings proceedings. Karen will be asking questions and imparting facts and details about the restaurants and general Salem culinary facts. The Salem YMCA SAYMedia center will also be filming the chefs as they cook and showing it live during the event so that attendees can have a view of the chefs artistry at work.

Branches Steel Orchestra will be providing the entertainment at the event. Branches’ have played many prominent events such as the Governor's Inaugural Ball. Branches’, as it is popularly known, is Boston’s premier steel orchestra comprised mainly of students from Boston Schools. It is led by its founder Carl Smith. Through his leadership for 30 years, Branches has been a youth-oriented orchestra focused on education.

As part of the event, attendees will experience a “Taste of Salem” with 8 local, Salem restaurants participating and sharing a taste of their menus for all to enjoy. Howling Wolf, Scratch Kitchen, Opus, Tavern in the Square, Lobster Shanty, Clam Shack, Tin Whistle and Ken Rothwell Catering will all be part of the event.

Creative Salem, led by Social Palates founder John Andrews, is also playing a major role in the event’s production and promotion.

All proceeds from the event, support the Salem YMCA. The event proceeds will help to ensure that everyone, regardless of income or background, has the chance to learn, grow and thrive at the Y. The campaign is significant to the community as we strive to have a meaningful, enduring impact in Salem and on the North Shore. What we raise provides important access to high-quality child and after school care, fun-filled and enriching summer camp for kids, programs in the area of aquatics, theater, arts and sports, and YMCA memberships so that everyone has the tools to live a healthy lifestyle.

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For over 150 years, the YMCA of the North Shore has been strengthening the foundations of community for the more than 40,000 members it serves in 25 cities and towns. We nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to give back and support our neighbors; regardless of age, race, ethnicity or socio-economic background.