“25 Men Who Can Cook” Returns for its 7th Year

OTTUMWA-The Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra’s popular “25 Men Who Can Cook” event will return to Bridge View Center on Saturday, Jan. 20. Billed as the “tastiest 2-hours” in Ottumwa, the event typically draws more than 500 area residents who savor the culinary delights the chefs have prepared and then are given the opportunity to vote in the People’s Choice award balloting. 

This is the seventh year for the event, with all proceeds supporting the symphony. First, second and third place awards are presented in the People’s Choice category. Also, a team of judges will select the top three chefs in the Best Entrée, Best Dessert and Best Pre-dining categories. The judges will include Gordon Rader, Mark Fisher, Mary Kivlahan, Fletcher Person and Chris Hickey. 

Chefs competing this year include James Colvin (Ottumwa Golf and Social Club), Rick Countryman (Food Frantic), Erik Cross (Bridge City Design Studio), Terry Glick (Hy-Vee in Albia), Dave Hawley (retired comptroller), Derek Hedgecock (Downtown Fitness), David Howard (Ottumwa Regional Health Center), Bill Merchant (friend of the Ottumwa Symphony), Nate Miller (Indian Hills Community College), Brian Morgan (Wapello County Supervisor), Alex Morley (Edward Jones), Bob Newell (Bridge View Center), Richard Palen (Fareway Ottumwa) Michael Potts (Wayne County Hospital), Dr. Brian Quinn (Mercy Medical Clinic), John Richards (retired educator), Thomas Roberson (Appanoose Rapids), Marc Roe (Tenco), Reynaldo Royval (Burritos Los Roy), Tim Schwartz (Hotel Ottumwa), Rick Slaymaker (Sinclair Tractor), Kent Walker (physician), Bill Ward (retired barber), Jeremy Weller (D & D Bail Bonds, and Victor Zepeda (South Hy-Vee). 

South Ottumwa Savings Bank and John Deere Ottumwa Works are Gold Sponsors for this event, while NOEL Insurance and Mary Beth Hammer are Silver Sponsors. 

Adult advance tickets are $12.50 and are on sale at Bridge View Center and from the participating chefs; adult tickets at the door are $15, while children’s tickets (ages 5 – 12) are $5 at the door only. Doors will open to the public at 11:00 a.m. and the event will conclude at 1:00 p.m.