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BOULDER, Colo. -- The newly opened Naples Wild Oats Marketplace will donate $10,000 raised from yesterday's culinary competition to three Naples nonprofit organizations.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank, the Naples Cancer Alliance, and the von Liebig Art Center will each receive a portion of this donation from Wild Oats as part of their involvement with the "Wild Chef Cook-Off," a culinary competition that took place during the Naples Wild Oats Grand Opening Preview Party on Jan. 23.
During the "Wild Chef Cook-Off," three popular local chefs, Ralph Feraco of the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club; Claudio Ferrer, culinary instructor at Palmetto Ridge High School; and Frank Setera, culinary instructor at Gulf Coast High School, prepared three gourmet dishes using fresh, locally caught Lane snapper and locally grown organic citrus fruits. At the end of the competition, the chefs' creations were rated by area celebrity judges on taste, flavor, creativity, presentation, and restaurant worthiness.
Chef Ferrer, who represented the Cancer Alliance of Naples during the cook-off, took first place, and the organization will receive the chef's $5,000 top prize. The Cancer Alliance of Naples provides cancer survivors with healing resources that augment the medical care they receive.
Chefs Feraco and Setera also created meals from all-natural and organic ingredients from Wild Oats. Chef Feraco represented the von Liebig Art Center, which will receive a $2,500 donation from the event. The mission of the von Liebig Art Center is to promote and advance education, interest, and participation in the contemporary visual arts.
Chef Setera's charity partner was the Harry Chapin Food Bank, which will receive a $2,500 donation from Wild Oats. The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida helps citizens overcome hunger through education and by working in a cooperative effort with affiliated agencies in the procurement and distribution of food.
Wild Oats operates 110 natural foods stores in 24 states and British Columbia, Canada.