Any efficient government official has to wear many hats, but a chef's hat?
More than 20 amateur chefs, including Essex County officials, whipped up a variety of mouth-watering culinary creations to delight the palate Saturday afternoon at the third-annual Essex Men Who Cook fundraiser, held at the Essex County Hospital Center in Cedar Grove.
The chefs were all Essex County teachers, attorneys, business owners, corrections and police officers and elected officials, but today, all donned classic white chefs uniforms, complete with toque hats, to serve up home-made dishes ranging from stuffed shells to clams with Fra Diavolo to skirt steak.
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. whipped up his signature cavatelli and broccoli with garlic for the occasion. "I love to cook," he said, noting it was his mother who taught him his way around the kitchen.
Essex County Freeholder-At-Large Rufus Johnson cooked a trio of chicken dishes: teriyaki, garlic and herb and Jerk. His secret? "Patience and the love you put into each dish."
The event was sponsored by the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Essex County Economic Development Corp.
A crowd approaching 100 attended the white-linen affair, each paying $20-per-plate to benefit the county's Economic Development Corp, a micro-lender that provides small start-up loans to aspiring entrepreneurs.