Men Who Cook fundraiser reimagined for 2021 to benefit SECU Family House

Published 8:33 pm Sunday, February 28, 2021

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WINSTON-SALEM— A new version of the SECU Family House’s signature Men Who Cook fundraising event, presented by Wake Forest Baptist Health, is being served up this year to benefit families to travel to our area for medical care.

An alternative to a hospital waiting room or an expensive hotel, the Family House provides affordable accommodations for adult patients and caregivers who have been referred by one of three local organizations — Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center and Trellis Supportive Care.

Typically, Men Who Cook brings together local male amateur chefs and their cooking teams who battle it out to please the tastebuds of nearly 400 hungry attendees. Participating chefs come from all sectors of the Winston-Salem community from banking to clergy, lawyers to realtors, higher education to local media, and everything in between.

The coronavirus pandemic iteration of Men Who Cook will entail an auction of private dinners provided by some favorite Men Who Cook past chefs plus some new venues and chefs. This year, people will bid on their own personalized dining experience. Whether it be an outdoor barbecue with 30 friends, an intimate in-home three-course meal, or a casual picnic and wine pairing at a local winery, there will be safe options for everyone.

“While I’d rather be together with all my friends and neighbors at our typical in-person event, I think this version will create some really unique memories,” said Kathy Carr, executive director of the Family House. “I encourage folks to bid on the experiences and support our wonderful families.”

The Family House, which is conveniently located near Winston-Salem’s two major hospitals, has served as home base for folks from 95 North Carolina counties and 45 states and has welcomed more than 41,000 overnight guests since opening its doors in 2011. When families come to the area with their loved ones for medical treatment — whether planned or in emergency situations — the Family House provides a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere for rest, food, community and more. There is a small overnight fee for guests, and a Family House assistance fund is in place thanks to faithful donations and events like the Men Who Cook fundraiser. In typical years, Men Who Cook events raise an average of $140,000 for the SECU Family House.

Men Who Cook chefs this year feature a number of folks who have cooked for this event before: Peter Mikeal, Jason Bragg, John and Jack Elster, Dr. Michael Lischke, Phil Roethle, and Dr. Joey Skelton, Kevin Kampman, Kimberly and Eric Stone, David Barksdale, John Millican, Trent and Megan Wall, Peter Juran, and John Mann. New chefs and venues this year include, chef Jeff Bacon, chef Ryan Smith, event space at Legacy House at Legacy Stables and Events, the Tuscan home of Chris Lyon, and The Providence Manor House Inn at Tanglewood.

Sponsors of this year’s Men Who Cook event include presenting sponsor Wake Forest Baptist Health, as well as Novant Health, Forsyth Magazines, Reynolds American, Publix Super Markets Charities, Garner Foods, and Allegacy Federal Credit Union. There are still openings for sponsorships and chef teams.

Online bidding for the experiences being offered for Men Who Cook this year will be open March 15-20. Registration is free. Other ways to participate other than bidding include making a tip donation to a favorite chef or purchasing a fun meal-themed item. Just $40 helps one family for one night and all tips support Family House families. For more information, got to