Canada’s hottest all-star line up of Food Network celebrity chefs joined Guy Fieri on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at The Fairmont Royal York for the third annual Chef’s Challenge®: The Ultimate Battle for a Cure, presented by World MasterCard®. Nearly 450 fundraisers and foodies packed The Fairmont Royal York for a culinary mêlée unlike any other, raising $775,000, which reached a three-year event total of $3,045,000 for Mount Sinai Hospital.
Funds raised at this year’s event will support breast and ovarian cancer research and education at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute and Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Fieri was electrifying, humorous and sincere as he addressed fundraisers and spoke to his own connection to cancer and his commitment to find a cure. Fieri’s sister, Morgan, recently passed away from melanoma and he publicly opened up about her battle and the importance of fundraising to find a cure. His heartfelt words clung to guests as the room was silent and Fieri offered an emotional message to the group. More than 450 guests took part in the evening, with Fieri noting the packed venue by saying, "This without a doubt is the most off-the-hook crammed in dinner I've ever seen!” On a serious note, he continued, “Of all the events I do, you guys are raising the bar higher than anyone else in the world."
Celebrity chefs Lynn Crawford, Chuck Hughes, Mark McEwan, David Rocco and Michael Smith joined Fieri for this premier culinary fundraising event. Funds raised at this event support the work of the Institutes’ scientists in hopes of discovering innovative approaches to prevent, diagnose and treat breast and ovarian cancers.
The emcee was Bob Blumer, host of World’s Weirdest Restaurants on Food Network. Judges for the evening included Kris Reyes, News Anchor for Global TV; Antony Robart, Anchor and Host for Global Toronto; Michele Henry, Reporter with the Toronto Star, John Moore, Morning Show Host for Newstalk 1010 and Amy Rosen, Acting Food Editor at Chatelaine magazine. Food Network chef Corbin Tomaszeski made a special appearance for a tableside cupcake challenge, and helped raise an additional $2,500 for Mount Sinai when he spontaneously auctioned off the chance to shave his mustache!
An evening highlight was a live auction item dubbed the Ultimate Foodie Package, which included a set of private dinners with Lynn Crawford, Chuck Hughes, Mark McEwan and David Rocco. Guy Fieri got in on the auction, offering up dinners at his restaurants in California if a minimum of $25,000 was reached. He stressed the importance of cancer research and education and a generous bidder purchased the package immediately and the guests erupted in applause.
The top fundraiser for the event was Kate Daniels, who raised an incredible $31,400 and chose Lynn Crawford to lead her through the culinary battle – ultimately paying off as Chef Crawford was victorious as the 2012 Chef’s Challenge® winning team chef. Second place honours were awarded to Montreal’s own Chuck Hughes, while East Coast newcomer Michael Smith placed a close third.