OLD TOWN — Celebrity chefs and athletes will team up for the annual Chef Bowl fundraiser this weekend to benefit an organization that works to get elementary-school students back on track.
Chef Tony Piolo of Piccolo Sogno and Nonnina leads the chefs, with former Bear Rashied Davis leading the athletes. The chefs, though, are the star attraction as they compete in a "Turkey Bowl," starting at 2 p.m. Sunday at Kings Bowl, 1500 N. Clybourn Ave., trying to bowl three straight strikes in what's considered "unique and interesting ways." The winner claims the Chef Bowl trophy.
But it's actually a benefit for Saturday Place, named for the way it offers instruction on Saturdays for third- and fourth-grade Chicago Public Schools students who live in an under-resourced area and are a year behind in their studies. Saturday Place claims to have raised students to the 99th percentile in their math level and the 60th percentile in reading over the two years it typically schools students.
Other chefs taking part in Chefs Bowl 2017 include Kevin Cuddihee of TWO, Dick Flanigan of Il Congilio, Brian Jupiter of Frontier, Cory Morris of Ronero, Giuseppe Tentori of GT Prime, Zach Walrath of the Florentine, Erick Williams of MK and Tom Valente of Lucille.
Olympic bobsledder Aja Evans has committed to attend, as she did last year.
Tickets are $65 and entitle fans to snack samples and a Saturday Place "bowling pen" for autographs.
"Saturday Place is truly an inspiring organization," Priolo said. "I’m proud to bring some of the city’s most acclaimed chefs together to support its programs and positively impact our city’s youth."
Davis said he was "thrilled" to join in for another year, adding, "Saturday Place allows our students to achieve success both personally and academically. Chef Bowl supports that cause by bringing together people who believe in the future of these students."