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Wentworth-Douglass Foundation Brings Exciting New Culinary Competition to The Music Hall

The Wentworth-Douglass Foundation is bringing the culinary world together for an exciting new event at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.

The Seacoast Culinary Challenge will take place March 31st, from 7:30 – 9:30 PM, featuring celebrity hosts, local chefs, a panel of judges, a live auction, VIP event and much more. The event is a fundraiser for the Hospital’s Annual Fund and will highlight the Center for Weight Management and Bariatric Surgery

Hosted by Mary Ann Esposito, author of 13 cookbooks and Creator and Host of Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito on PBS – America’s longest running televised cooking show, and Evan Hennessey, Owner and Chef at STAGES at One Washington and THE LIVING ROOM in Dover, NH, and three-time Chopped Champion on the Food Network’s nationally acclaimed show, the Seacoast Culinary Challenge is a timed, mystery-basket style cooking competition. Four local chefs will compete on stage at The Music Hall with their dishes judged by a panel of celebrity and local judges. 

“The Seacoast Culinary Challenge raises critical funds to support programs and projects across the hospital that enhance patient care and wellness, while also bringing together the restaurant and culinary community. So many restaurants have struggled throughout the pandemic, so this is an opportunity to promote their businesses and showcase their talent. It’s a win-win!” said Jackie Eastwood, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Audience members will experience a live-demo from the Da Vinci robotic surgical system – the technology used exclusively for minimally invasive bariatric (weight loss) surgery at Wentworth-Douglass. The Da Vinci, controlled by Dr. Dmytro Havaleshko and his partners Dr. Cynthia Paciulli and Dr. Hany Takla, may act as a “sous chef” on stage. “Having the Da Vinci robotic system on stage is a fun way to demonstrate how amazing and precise the technology is," stated Dr. Havaleshko.

The Seacoast Culinary Challenge is also partnering with downtown Portsmouth restaurants the night of the event. General Admission ticket holders are encouraged to dine out before the event at any one of the participating restaurants. A portion of the proceeds from each prix fixe menu, will support the Wentworth-Douglass Annual Fund. “Meet the Chef” VIP Experience guests will enjoy food and expertly paired wine by sommeliers at The Music Hall prior to the event. VIP and General Admission tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Sponsorship information and opportunities are also available on the event website.

The event will include COVID-19 protocols, including a requirement that attendees mask and show proof of full vaccination, or a negative COVID test, in accordance with mandates from the City of Portsmouth and The Music Hall.

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