Men Who Cook

Men Who Cook

2023 Men Who Cook Registration Now Closed

See you next year!


2023 Event Recap

12th Annual Men Who Cook Raises $13,000 for Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Assault

Last year’s Men Who Cook took place October 26, 2023 at 6:30 pm, at the Commonwealth Commerce Center. Twelve local chefs competed against each other for best tasting, best theme and most donations collected. Congratulations to best tasting dish winner, Vincenzo Silvestri, best booth decorations winner, Shannon Arnett, and most tips collected winner, Mike Smajda!

Our 2024 event will take place on October 24th  and we are currently looking for men who love to cook, sponsors to help with the cost of the event, and judges and general event volunteers. If you are interested please contact our Marketing and Fund Development Manager, Emilee Heise, at



Adam Soper

Adam Soper’s Meatball Sliders: Adam is originally from Adrian, MI, and a graduate of Adrian College. He moved to Jackson to join the team at Bond & Company, PLC as an intern and worked my way up to become a partner in the firm. Since moving to Jackson, He has always looked for ways to contribute to and support the Jackson community. Adam feels he was very lucky to be invited to participate in the Men Who Cook event for the first time back in 2017. This will be his fourth year as a chef and when he’s not cooking to support this wonderful organization, he’s cooking for his lovely wife Jennifer Soper … who without him would be living mostly on cereal.

Adam Williams

Adam Williams Three Cheese Ravioli with Italian Sausage in Red Sauce: Meet one of this year’s 9th Annual Men Who Cook Drive Thru Edition chefs, Adam Williams. He is a Lumen Christi Graduate and serves on the AWARE Board of Directors. He is working for Kellogg in Battle Creek, shipping Cereal all around the country. When not cooking, he can usually be found camping in the woods or traveling to small towns across the Mitten state for hole-in-the-wall restaurants and tiny watering holes. This is his first-time volunteering for the Men Who Cook event and is super excited to be a part of such a great cause.

Brian Dumont

Brian Dumont’s Chili: Brian Dumont has worked full-time in radio and television broadcasting, both on-air and behind the scenes, throughout Michigan for 26 years. He is a graduate of Spring Arbor University and serves as Regional Promotion Coordinator for Family Life Radio working with affiliate stations throughout the Midwest, including 96.7 FM in Jackson and several others across the state. Brian is married, has 3 adult children and recently welcomed his first grandchild into the world. This year Brian is making his famous chili recipe with which he previously won the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s annual chili cookoff (amateur division).

Chad Kennedy

Chad Kennedy’s Deputie’s Perch and Onion Rings: Let’s welcome back Chad Kennedy as one of this year Men Who Cook chefs! Chad attended University of Michigan and is a Clark Lake resident. He has been a long-time supporter of AWARE and currently works for the Walton Agency as an Account Executive. He loves spending time with his family and especially loves coaching hockey. He was named the 2015 Michigan Amateur Hockey Association Coach of the year and is the first from Jackson to ever win the award. Last year Chad wowed the crowd with his Mexican cooking. He dressed in theme and was the first to run out of food before the nights end! This year Chad will be grilling Pork Loin during the event and making sandwiches for all to enjoy.

Davan Gerding

Davan Gerding’s Hawaiian Chicken: Meet Davan Gerding, who is a returning chef from 2019. Davan is a Jackson native and graduate of Lumen Christi High School. He is the proud father of two girls and one boy named Ayden, Maddie and Christian. Many of you may know him best for being the Co-Founder and Executive Chef at CCC Catering Located at the Commonwealth Commerce center in Jackson. In his spare time Davan participates on the JACC culinary arts program as an acquisition board member and was long time member of the Jackson County Rose Festival Board.

Ruben Pritchard

Ruben Pritchard’s Tacos de Carné Guisada: Meet one of this year’s 9th Annual Men Who Cook Drive Thru Edition chefs, Ruben Saucedo Pritchard. He is a Jackson High School graduate (class of 1992) and current drummer of Randy Wrozek & The HyNotes, this will be Ruben’s 4th year volunteering as a chef for Men Who Cook where he placed 1st in 2018 for his delicious BBQ ribs and 2nd in 2019 for his succulent BBQ chicken, both in the People’s Choice category.

Tom Mitchell

Tom Mitchell’s Antipasto Squares: Tom Mitchell who was born and raised in Jackson! Tom learned a lot about cooking from his grandmothers, Polish & Irish, both of them named Mary. He has two extraordinary daughters (Kiersten (13) & Payton (10)) that keep him on his toes. Tom works at Gerdau as a Customer Service Manager and has been with the company for 13 years. Tom enjoys being outdoors, woodworking, and of course cooking. To relax, he listens to all genres of music, from Bach to Beyoncé. He spends his “wine” down time, with family and friends. This year will be Toms first year with us.