Local Flavor loves any event that feeds the giving spirit as well as appetites, and the cq30th annual Great Chefs: Take Two fits all that criteria.

The event, set for Thursday, June 3, at 7 p.m., takes place virtually this year. Last year’s three-decade celebratory event was canceled because of the pandemic, but organizers couldn’t let this milestone go unnoticed. They adapted the annual Women’s Resource Center event into a free virtual program.

Great Chefs will present cooking demonstrations from chefs of local restaurants including Paradise Soulfood & Sweets, Colarusso’s Coal Fired Pizza, Andy Gavin’s Eatery & Pub, the Cabin Bar and Grill, and Lackawanna College’s 409 on Adams restaurant.

One dish guests can expect to see is the Cabin’s “Soon to Be Famous” Crab Cakes. Made with jumbo lump crab meat, peppers, scallions and a blend of spices, the crab cakes are a hit at the Taylor restaurant, owner Mike Gentile said.

“They’re pretty popular,” he said. “We sell a lot of them.”

Gentile opened the Cabin in June 2019. All of the restaurant’s food is “freshly made from our family to yours,” he said, and, in addition to crab cakes and other seafood dishes such as ahi tuna, shrimp scampi and salmon dinners, the Cabin’s menu has something for everyone. Gentile said the restaurant is known for its Italian specialties and chicken dishes plus its burgers, wings, award-winning sauces and fresh salads made with a garlic balsamic Parmesan dressing customers can’t resist.

“People come back just for that dressing,” he said.

While sharing fabulous meals is second nature to Gentile, he jumped at the chance to participate in Great Chefs because of its mission and as a way to give back.

“Immediately after they reached out, I said yes and was excited to get involved,” he said. “I’m going into my second year, and when COVID hit, I really couldn’t do anything for the community. This is one of my first times I’m actually able to get out there and offer something. It’s great.”

Featuring WNEP-TV “Home & Backyard” host Jackie Lewandoski, Great Chefs also includes special entertainment and a chance for viewers to participate in an online basket raffle. For more information, to preview basket raffle items and to access to the event, visit greatchefs21.givesmart.com.

The biggest component of the fundraiser, however, is its mission. Funds raised benefit WRC’s safe housing program, which prioritizes emergency housing options for adults and children who are in immediate danger, are in a potentially dangerous situation or are homeless because of violence. It also gives viewers a chance to hear from survivors who benefited from WRC’s services.

The center as a whole provides shelter, a crisis hotline, advocacy and other services to victims, both male and female, of domestic violence, sexual assault and related dangerous situations in Lackawanna and Susquehanna counties. These lifesaving services are imperative to residents and their families, and a fundraiser such as Great Chefs, which offers something to the community while also helping the WRC, is a win-win.

“WRC relies heavily on community support to maintain our services to adult and child victims of domestic and sexual violence,” said Peg Ruddy, WRC executive director. “We decided to go virtual since we could not afford to go another year without fundraising dollars to meet the need in the community.”


The Cabin Bar and Grill’s “Soon to Be Famous” Crab Cakes
  • 2 pounds jumbo lump crab meat
  • 1 pound crab claw meat
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks green scallion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Combine all ingredients and form into 4-ounce patties. Brown each side in a pan over medium heat with olive oil.

Bake at 375 F for 4 or 5 minutes.