Join us for this year's Iron Chef & Benefit Auction on Sunday, March 26, 2017 from 1-5pm at Wilson High School!
This exciting event includes a timed cooking competition between 3 local chefs, as well as a People’s Choice Competition featuring several local restaurants, various food-related vendors and restaurants offering samples. Plus enjoy a live auction, raffles, and student participation with musical performances.
All samples are included with price of admission.
Wilson’s Extraordinary Teacher of the Year will be announced!
Tickets: Adults: $15 in advance | $20 at the door
Students (18 & Under): $10 in advance | $15 at the door
Children 3 & under: Free
Advance ticket purchase is recommended!
New this year!
First Taste: $25 | Enter at 12 pm, an hour before general admission opens at 1 pm, for the first opportunity to sample tasty treats from vendors!
Alumni Lounge: $25 | Access to reserved seating area (1-3pm) for Wilson Alumni & their families.
First Taste & Alumni Lounge: $35
Tickets available at the door!
To volunteer at the Wilson Iron Chef sign up here!
Wilson Iron Chef 2017 - Now Accepting Applications!
This year, we are offering Restaurants, Caterers & Food Vendors an opportunity to participate in your choice of either Vendor Lane or the People’s Choice Competition! Make your commitment to participate by the Early Bird deadline of January 13, and in addition to being listed on the Wilson Iron Chef website, your business will also be listed on Iron Chef promotional materials including posters and flyers that are distributed throughout the community providing additional exposure for your business!
The difference between Vendor Lane and People’s Choice:
Vendor Lane: Provides an opportunity to showcase your business to the Wilson Community. Area restaurants and food vendors receive a booth and provide samples of your choice while interacting with hundreds of our community members attending the event. Please click here to access a Vendor Application Form. Deadline is March 1, 2017.
People's Choice Competition: Restaurants will vie for votes with samples as part of the People's Choice Competition. Each restaurant will create a menu item of its choosing using one common predetermined ingredient – the 2017 common ingredient is CHEESE. Attendees sample each item and vote for their favorite! The two participants that receive the most votes are invited to compete in the main Iron Chef Competition in 2018. The People’s Choice Competition is limited to 12 chefs – first come, first serve. Please click here to access the People’s Choice Application Form. Deadline is March 1, 2017.
The MCs for the 2016 event were Dr. George Fiore, Wilson High School Principal, and Brad Weisman, Co-Host of Best Bites TV.
Iron Chef Competition & Benefit Auction Overview
Three local chefs will compete for the title of Wilson Iron Chef! They will each have 35 minutes to create a unique dish, live on stage, using three secret ingredients and any items from a provided pantry. A panel of culinary judges will then sample the final dishes to see who is titled the winning Iron Chef!
People's Choice Competition
See the creative talent of area chef’s and sample their delicious dishes during The People’s Choice competition. Featuring several area restaurants, each will create a menu item of their choosing using one common ingredient predetermined by Wilson’s Iron Chef Committee. During the event, attendees will have an opportunity to taste all items and vote for their favorite. The two restaurants that receive the top votes will be invited to compete in the main Iron Chef Competition the following year.
Vendor Lane is an opportunity to highlight local restaurants and food-related businesses that support the Wilson Community. Each vendor will have a table consisting of samples of their choice ranging from soup or appetizers to entrées or desserts. During the event, attendees will have the chance to visit the table of their choosing and taste these creations for free!
Proceeds will benefit the Wilson Education Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization whose mission is to support Wilson excellence! The vision of the organization is to engage parents, alumni and businesses to invest in the greater Wilson community to further differentiate a Wilson Education and to enhance students' opportunities. The non-tax dollars raised by the Foundation support the needs of our students and teachers by funding academic programs, grants, scholarships, district events, and facility upgrades.
2016 Iron Chef
Click here to read more about this year's Iron Chef event from the Reading Eagle.
Wilson Teacher for Extraordinary Teacher of the Year!
Winners of the NEW Wilson Extraordinary Teacher of the Year program were announced before the main Iron Chef competition. The Wilson Education Foundation (WEF) partnered up with Sun Federal Credit Union to award one elementary teacher (K-5) and one secondary teacher (6-12) $1,000 ($500 from Sun FCU & $500 from WEF). Congratulations to this year's recipients, Whitfield Elementary kindergarten teacher Connie Aarons and Wilson High School special education teacher Tannen Summons! Over 400 nominations were submitted by students, parents, faculty, and community members. In addition, Sun Federal is also offering $1,000 scholarship awarded to one Wilson High School senior, which will be awarded in the spring.
Thank you to all of the volunteers for helping to make 2016's event a big success!
2015 Iron Chef
If you were unable to attend the 2015 event, click here to read coverage in the Reading Eagle. To see photos of last year's event taken by Donn Shires, who volunteered throughout the day, please click here.
The second annual Wilson Iron Chef Competition & Benefit Auction held on Sunday, March 22, was a spirited success with over 800 tickets sold for the event. More than 1,100 community members and volunteers enjoyed tasty samples from 30+ vendors while listening to music graciously provided by talented student performers.
Elementary and middle school students demonstrated their technological savvy at an informative booth highlighting the district’s innovation with technology. High school students from the Family & Consumer Science program showcased their steady hands and artistic talents through cake decorating demonstrations. Volunteers for this years event included members of the Wilson High School National Honor Society, student council representatives from both the middle and high school programs, Wilson administrators and staff, and several parents.
Sweet potato was the ingredient of choice for this year’s People’s Choice Competition. 9 local restaurants created dishes incorporating the special ingredient. Clearly a crowd favorite, this year’s winner was Dans at Green Hills for their Sweet Potato Soup. Runner up was Chef Tim from the Crowne Plaza Hotel-Reading. Chef Tim prepared a sweet potato puree alongside a sweet potato crusted almond chicken with snow pea shoots, strawberry sauce, balsamic strawberries, and mandarin oranges, all accompanied by sweet potato infused lemonade. Both Dans at Green Hills and Crowne Plaza Hotel-Reading will compete as a part of the mainstage 2016 Iron Chef competition. Thank you to all of this year’s People’s Choice competitors for preparing delicious samples for attendees to enjoy.
For the Iron Chef portion of the event, the three competing chefs were set the challenge of incorporating four secret ingredients into their dishes-turkey loin, patty pan squash, quinoa, and gummy worms-revealed to them right before starting the 35-minute competition. Fresh items from the provided pantry supplemented the competitor's culinary creations. Winning Chef Jason Hook from h20 Kitchen used the gummy worms as part of a sweet potato puree that wowed the judges and set him apart from the other competitors. Second place went to Chef David Shefter of the Penn Warner Hotel, followed by Raffaele Grande from GNA Ristorante.
2014 Iron Chef
To read more about the 2014 event, click here to see coverage in
Berks County Eats Blog. To see photos taken by Wilson students from the event, please click here. To see additional photos taken by Donn Shires, who volunteered throughout the day, please click here.
During the inaugural Wilson Iron Chef Competition on Sunday, April 6, the three competing chefs used the three secret ingredients -- center-cut pork loin, chayote squash and blood oranges -– revealed to them just moments before the competition along with using fresh items from a provided pantry to cook a protein and two sides in 35 minutes.
Chef David Shefter, owner and chef at Penn Werner Hotel in Wernersville, was named Wilson 2014 Iron Chef Champion for his Mexican-rub pork roast with a blood orange demi-glaze, served with an arugula, pear and goat cheese salad, and a vegetable latke made from squash, broccoli and Asiago cheese.
Second place went to Chef Joseph Church, executive chef at the Peanut Bar in Reading and owner of Black Dog Café in Womelsdorf, for his pork scallopini with sautéed morel mushrooms and truffle butter, served with julienned chayota and yellow squash and a Mediterranean couscous splashed with blood-orange juice.
Chef Felix Maeitta, managing partner at ViVA Bistro & Lounge in Wyomissing, finished third for his pan-roasted pork loin with a honey and blood-orange glaze, served with a potato, squash and chorizo sausage hash and sautéed asparagus.