Locals Vie for Honors at House of Hope's 2022 Top Chef Competition

Posted on May 16, 2022

Six local people who love food, love to cook, and love the mission of House of Hope will compete on Monday, June 6, for bragging rights to be called the Top Chef of Martin County.

The fourth annual Top Chef competition will be held this year from 7 to 10 p.m. at The District Table and Bar in Stuart. Contenders will learn which protein they’ll be working with a week in advance, but what ingredients are on hand and what the “Special Surprise Ingredient” is for 2022 will be a secret until the competition begins. Some of the ingredients will come straight from House of Hope’s Growing Hope Farm.

During the event, 11 local restaurants will be serving small bites to attendees to stave off their hunger as they watch the chefs prepare their delicious dishes.

“This is a really fun and lively event,” said House of Hope Chief Executive Officer Rob Ranieri. “Our volunteer chefs, none of whom are actually professional chefs, always surprise and impress us with the dishes they prepare.”

The event also has a serious side. House of Hope is seeing an ever-increasing number of Martin County residents who are food insecure and need the services of the organization to feed their families. Funds raised from this fun, food event will go directly to feeding hungry neighbors.

The 2022 competitors are: Donna Forcella, Donna Jenson, Julian Maiucci, Pete Morello, Marybeth Peña, and Joe Tomasiello. Judges will award prizes to the Top Fundraiser and the Best Dish, with the Overall Winner prize going to the chef who excels in a combination of both categories.

Sponsorship support from the following people and organizations is appreciated: Colab Farms, Whiticar Boatworks, Coastal Drive Magazine, The Firefly Group, Florida Power and Light, HBKS Stephen Schramm, Elaine and Jim Matts, McCarthy Summers Law Firm, Rick Carroll Insurance, and the Wong Family Foundation.

Only 200 tickets are available, and tickets from the 2020 event are being honored, so space is limited. To purchase tickets, become a sponsor, or support a favorite chef, go to


About House of Hope

Founded in 1984, House of Hope is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship. House of Hope touches the lives of more than 7,000 people each month helping with basic needs such as food, clothing, furniture, financial assistance, as well as longer-term case management services that help build life skills for a more self-sufficient future. The organization has service centers and thrift stores in Stuart, Hobe Sound, Indiantown, and Jensen Beach. House of Hope’s Golden Gate Center for Enrichment in Stuart offers free programs, technology, and workshops designed to enhance life skills, earning potential, health, and overall well-being. House of Hope also operates the Growing Hope Farm in Palm City and several nutrition gardens that provide sustainable sources of fresh produce for clients as well as nutrition education and vocational opportunities to the community. For more information, visit or call 772-286-4673. Updates and announcements can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter


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