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LAKELAND, FL (January 18, 2022) – Achievement Academy’s 8th annual Top Chef of Polk County presented by Publix Super Markets Charities will be held on February 28, 2022 at participating Chefs’ restaurants. Each Chef has been paired with a Community Leader to collaborate on fundraising efforts in the six weeks leading up to the main event. The Chef and Community Leader team who raises the most money through fundraising and auction donations will be awarded the title of “Top Philanthropic Chef” and “Top Philanthropic Community Leader.” Last year, teams raised more than $107,000 for children at-risk for developmental delays or with special needs.

Each team has a designated web site through which you can “vote” for the team by making a donation through their page. Voting will continue through Monday, February 28th at 11:59 p.m. All funds raised support our programs, providing children in our community with the quality education, therapy, early intervention, and family support that will help them achieve their maximum potential. 

This event is made possible through the generosity of our sponsors. We are thankful to Publix Super Markets Charities’ for their Exclusive Presenting sponsorship. Head Chef Sponsors include Hillcrest Partners Limited Partnership, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union, Pallet Recycle, and Steve and Janice Jones. Sous Chef Sponsors are Citizens Bank & Trust, Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center, LLP, The Heritage Group at Morgan Stanley, and Senator Kelli Stargel. Dessert Sponsors are Interstate Batteries of Lakeland, John and Deborah Weber, Luke Markham and the law firm of Johnson Pope, and Mulling Insurance Agency, Inc. Sauté Chef Sponsors are Alexander and Chandra Frederick, CPS Investment Advisors, David and Shi Adams, DSM Technology Consultants, Lakeland Electric, Prime Meridian Bank, Saddle Creek Logistics Services, and Summit Consulting, LLC. 

Participating Chefs and their Community Leaders for this year’s event include: 

Chef Brandon Bailey, Lakeland BBQ Company and Caitlyn Salters, Exxact Express

Chef Tina Calhoon, Frescos Southern Kitchen & Bar and Danielle Harris and Dawn Lyons, Bank of Central Florida

Chef Sean Champe, Terrie Lobb Catering, Inc. and Adam Riley, Ewing, Blackwelder & Duce Insurance

Chef Lucy Cortes-Castaneda, Red Door Lakeland and Par Sahota, Boring Business 

Chef Cem Demirhan, Nineteen61 and Patrick Spinosa and Mac Miller, AgAmerica Lending

Chef Jason Ellis, Cob & Pen and Kyle Kilburn, Keller Williams

Chef Gene Gelb, Publix Aprons Cooking School and Catering and Emily Topper, Publix Super Markets, Inc.

Chef Matt McBrayer, The Terrace Grille and Barbara McMickle, The Terrace Hotel

Chef Abigale Weech-Starkey, The Chop Shop and Alexandra Lee, Citizens Bank & Trust

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