Men cook up funding for Catholic Charities

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — Community leaders put on their aprons and sharpened their knives for the 9th annual “Men Who Cook” event Friday evening at Antone’s Banquet Centre in Boardman.

This year’s theme was “Come Sail Away.” Celebrity judges picked their favorite dishes and guests voted for the “People’s Choice Award” by placing tips in the jar of their favorite chef.

The event is a fundraiser for Catholic Charities Regional Agency’s Emergency Assistance Program, which provides people in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties who are experiencing hardships with material and financial assistance. The Emergency Assistance Program is the largest of the program available to residents of these counties and assists with crisis situations that involve rent delinquencies, food, clothing and prescription assistance and homeless prevention.

Since its inception, the Men Who Cook event has raised more than $250,000 for Catholic Charities.

The volunteer chefs included:

  • Brian Antal, president of the St. Vincent De Paul Society of Youngstown, who prepared chicken and greens pasta.
  • Danny Catullo, owner of Catullo Prime Meats, who prepared chicken piccata.
  • Barry Franks, senior program supervisor for Infocision, and Atty. Anthony Donofrio, deputy Youngstown law director, who prepared Donofrio seafood chowder.
  • Jim Graham, manager of clinical pharmacy services for Humility of Mary Health Partners, who prepared Jamaican stewed chicken.
  • Bob Hannon, president, and Billy Keel, AFL-CIO liaison, for the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, who prepared a sweet surprise.
  • Greg Haren, CEO of Enertech Electrical Inc., who prepared 5:00 pulled pork.
  • Jeff Janci, owner of Cookie Creations, who prepared Oreo truffles, caramel cups and cream puffs.
  • Don Koenig Jr., executive vice president and chief operating officer for Humility of Mary Health Partners, who prepared Key West Lime Pie.
  • Rev. John-Michael Lavelle, director of advancement for Catholic Charities and pastor of Niles Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and Brian Sinchak, president of Warren JFK High School, who prepared double chocolate fudge brownies.
  • Youngstown Mayor John McNally and Matt Szarty, production engineer for Control Systems Manufacturing, who prepared pulled pork sliders with hot pepper mustard and caramelized onions.
  • Michael Rulli, Manlio Anzalone and Mark Decesare, all of Rulli Brothers Supermarkets, who prepared polpette alla Caprese, shrimp alla Pest-Acchio, shrimp and crab Charlotte with chambord sauce.
  • Ross Scianna, owner of Antone’s Restaurant Group, who prepared jumbo shrimp in marsala wine sauce with fresh fig.
  • Mahoning County Auditor Michael Sciortino, who prepared lamb meatballs and rice.
  • Dr. Steven Swain, Dr. Patrick Skarote and David Harris, a principal at DPH Architecture, who prepared banana banshee drinks and Italian soda bar.
  • Lowellville Police Chief Ryan Bonacci and Anthony Spano, executive director of the Hope Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, who prepared Antone’s spaghetti and meatballs.
  • Joe Sylvester, executive director of Turning Point Counseling Services, who prepared rosemary leg of lamb with saffron rice.
  • YSU head football coach Eric Wolford, who prepared Jack Sparrow’s pulled pork.
  • Guy Young, employability specialist at the LifeSkills Center of Warren, who prepared deconstructed Cuban sandwiches.

Celebrity judges include:

  • Rosemary Antonucci, volunteer manager for Hospice of the Valley
  • Atty. Shirley Christian of Harrington, Hoppe and Mitchell
  • Carol Holmes, a nurse at St. Joseph Health Center
  • Casey Malone, host of the Casey Malone Show
  • Ginny Pasha, president of United Way of Trumbull County
  • Roxann Sebest, director of marketing and communications for United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley
  • Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Maureen Sweeney
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kay Woods
  • Liberty Township Trustee Jodi Stoyak


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