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LAKELAND, FL (October 21, 2021) – Achievement Academy’s 8th annual Top Chef of Polk County will take place on Monday, February 28, 2022, from 6 to 9 p.m. at participating chefs’ restaurants.

Guests will enjoy a three-course meal that includes their chef’s signature dish accompanied by a wine or libation that complements the dish’s flavors. During the event, there will be an online silent auction. The event raises funds for children from birth through age five with special needs or who are at risk for developmental delays.

Community leaders from throughout Polk County will be paired with one of the participating chefs to collaborate on their fundraising efforts in the six weeks leading up to the event. The chef/community leader team with the highest combined donations from the auction and online donations will be awarded the “Top Philanthropic Chef” and “Top Philanthropic Community Leader,” respectively.

A panel of judges will sample each chef’s creation the day of the event to award the “Top Chef of Polk County.” There will also be an award for the most creative use of a mystery ingredient. The ingredient will be chosen through a blind drawing.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, please visit or contact Kristin Aiken at 863-683-6504 or

Participating chefs for this year’s event include:

Chef Brandon Bailey, Lakeland BBQ Company

Chef Tina Calhoon, Frescos Southern Kitchen & Bar

Chef Sean Champe, Terrie Lobb Catering, Inc.

Chef Lucy Cortes-Castaneda, Red Door Lakeland

Chef Cem Demirhan, Nineteen61

Chef Jason Ellis, Cob & Pen

Chef Gene Gelb, Publix Aprons Cooking School, and Catering Chef Scott Greenlee, Chef Scott’s Creations

Chef Matt McBrayer, The Terrace Grille

Chef Abigale Weech-Starkey, The Chop Shop

A special thank you to the sponsors who have already committed to this year’s event.

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