Healthy eating, especially on a limited budget, can be a challenge. In fact, it’s a challenge that will be staged this weekend in a competition among three local chefs.

"Chillicothe Chopped" is the Ross County Hunger Coalition’s version of the popular Food Network program that tests the culinary skills of chefs who must prepare meal items using a variety of foods presented at the beginning of the contest. The public is invited to watch and cheer for their favorite chef in a lively competition on Friday, 12:30pm to 1:30pm, at the Feast of the Flowering Moon main stage on Paint Street.

The theme is "healthy eating can be creative and inexpensive." The competing chefs are Cari Steinbrook, local caterer and Gazette "Local Flavor" columnist, and Frank Nunziato, popular Italian chef and owner of BFI Catering. A third "mystery" chef will be introduced at the event, along with the "mystery" ingredients that each must use to prepare an entrée and a dessert.

The foods will include a variety of items that are available at the Hunger Coalition’s "Fresh Produce Giveaway" and a typical selection of foods from the Good Samaritan Network Food Pantry. With Salvation Army Captains Carnith and Krystal Boring as emcees, the program will be entertaining, as well as educational.

Judges for the contest are Dawn Davison, Woodforest Bank branch manager; Ken Lovatt Chillicothe City Schools food services director; Luke Feeney, Chillicothe City auditor; and a volunteer from the audience. Prizes and gifts for the chefs have been donated by local businesses. Nutrition information, healthy recipes and small door prizes will be available for the audience.

The Ross County Hunger Coalition, convened and managed as a United Way Community Impact Health Initiative, is a collaboration of local agencies, organizations, churches and individuals who are committed to working together to provide healthy food and resources for those in need.

Anyone interested in volunteering or learning more about the coalition is encouraged to call United Way of Ross County, 773-3280, or email to