BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – With the onset of the new year means the return of Fort Madison Main Street’s award-winning Sensational Chef series.
This year the event, which is one of Main Street’s top annual fundraisers, will be held at Elliott Test Kitchen, 807 Avenue G, the home of Kumar Wickramasingha’s venture of combining food and study to help area students.
To continue on that theme Sensational Chef Fred Knoch will use some of the Test Kitchen students in helping prepare the meal for the evening. The main purpose of this event is to feature the culinary talents of area chefs and citizens who are very passionate about great food.
Knoch will be the guest chef along with four talented students including Alexis Rehm & Ellie Schulte from Fort Madison Middle School, Jayden Fedler from Fort Madison High School and Brett Azinger from Central Lee Middle School. The students will help bring an exciting twist to the traditionally sold out event.
Fort Madison Main Street Director Cassie Gilbert, said the semi-annual event helps fund programming for the Main Street business district.
She said the change in venue brings a different vibe to the event and helps a fellow business as well.
“Kumar has been very supportive of Main Street and downtown in general and his space is very conducive to doing something like this. It also allows him to also promote what he’s doing and that’s important because that’s a very good program down there.”
The event will start with a cocktail hour at 6 and then a multi-course meal, which is yet to be revealed, is served with wine.
Tickets are $75 per person. This event is sponsored by Hall Towing, Inc. Please contact Fort Madison Main Street at 319-372-5471 to purchase tickets or for more information.
Knoch is one of the main volunteer chefs at Elliott Test Kitchen, and he spends every Tuesday cooking with Test Kitchen students and polishing his culinary talents by working alongside Wickramasingha, who is a former award-winning chef and restaurateur. The two started their culinary adventures in 1986 when both began working at Best Western Iowan Motor Lodge as busboy and dishwasher. They truly treasure the opportunity to work with each other again for a greater cause.
“Elliott Test Kitchen students love to work with Fred, and they learn how to cook because of his friendly, patient manner,” Wickramasingha.
“The theme for this event will allow guests to be able to enjoy great culinary creations throughout the night in a grazing type atmosphere with great music and fun. The guests will be able to see Fred and his talented student team in action at Test Kitchen’s open kitchen counter. Please join us and support the Downtown Main Street and cheer on our future star chefs.”