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Look Who's Cooking 2012; Autism Speaks

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Local cooks unite for a common cause

By Laura Caskey

Laura Caskey
lcaskey@thelancasternews.com

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Low country boil, macaroni and cheese and cold peach soup.

Tuesday, Sept. 25, The Fairway Room at Lancaster Golf Course played host to chefs and attendees joined for the sole purpose of finding a cure for autism.

Held annually since 2006 on the last Tuesday of September, the Look Who’s Cooking benefit unites the community to fund more research for a disorder that affects one in every 88 children.

The event was started by Evelyn Springs whose grandson, Malik, was diagnosed with autism at age two.

“People can help by donating, I’m not too proud to ask. Who will take care of these kids if we don’t?” Springs said in her address to the attendees. “Autism is very real.”

Look Who’s Cooking
Following an opening by Springs and Dr. George Jackson, attendees were allowed to peruse six booths operated by S.C. cooks.

The cooks ranged from well-known locals, to traveling chefs from Fort Mill.

Bruce Brumfield cooked up low-country fare at his booth, “The Ragin’ Cajun.”

Bobby Bailey, a conniseiur of Southern cuisine, made his famed cold peach soup and shrimp and grits with his team from Adopt-a-Leader, while U.S. Food Services cooked up their own version of shrimp and grits in their line.
Springs Memorial Hospital’s Derek Graham and Michael Cournoyer joined with Chester Regional Hospital’s Keith Evans, all of Morrison Heath Care food services, to serve up roast beef.

“This is our first year at this event,” Graham said, “We’ve participated in Taste of Lancaster before, so when Evelyn asked us to help with this, we were more than glad.”

SYSCO food services and the Leroy Springs catering staff, no strangers to the Fairway Room, also had lines open serving fresh vegetables and macaroni and cheese.

Fabulous cake
If attendees hadn’t had their fill after walking through the smorgasbord of options, Look Who’s Cooking had another opportunity available.

The guest cook for the evening was Tiffany Good, owner and cake designer at Tiffany’s Baking Co. in Asheville, N.C. Good was featured in February of last year on a TLC special, “Fabulous Cakes.”

Throughout the evening, Good decorated a cake, christened “Jake the Dragon.”

“I met Evelyn at a wedding I did at The Dairy Barn last year,” Good said, “We’ve been communicating back and forth since then.”

Jake the Dragon, completely gluten-free and edible, and Good’s cake-decorating services were auctioned off during the live auction.

One more hug
A program followed the meal in which Celetia Springs, daughter of Evelyn Springs and mother of Malik, was presented an award by Bruce Brumfield, recognizing her for her hard work and commitment.

“You don’t understand how autism affects a family until you’ve been through it,” Brumfield said. “The stress Celetia has been through is unimaginable.”

The guest speaker for the evening was Miss S.C. International, Nikita Maigur, who spoke on behalf of Autism Speaks.

“The way I see it, every plate you bought today is one more hug for a parent with a child with autism,” Maigur said.

Auctions

Two auctions were held, a live auction with prizes such as a trip to Boston, sponsored by Founders Federal Credit Union, and an LG High Definition television, submitted by Comporium Communications, and a silent auction, which offered goodies such as wine baskets and gift certificates.

Overall, the night’s event raised $8,000, and all proceeds went to autism research.

Since its creation in 2006, Springs and Malik’s Team have raised over $80,000 for the cause.

Autism walk
The Carolina chapter of Autism Speaks will hold its annual autism walk on Oct. 27 at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C.

Malik’s Team will participate in the walk, and it’s not too late to register.

For information visit www.walknowforautismspeaks.com or call (704) 561-0003.

Contact reporter Laura Caskey at 283-1158.