Local Heroes Face Off in Gilroy Garlic Festival Champions for Charity on July 26

2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival
July 26, 27 & 28, 2019



Local Heroes Face Off in Gilroy Garlic Festival Champions for Charity on July 26

July 11, 2019 (Gilroy, CA): Some seasoned veterans—and a few new contenders—will compete in the fourth annual Champions for Charity cooking challenge on Friday, July 26 at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Four teams of local first responders and military heroes will face off in a three-round cooking competition hosted by MasterChef Season 9 winner Gerron Hurt on the Challenge Butter Cook-Off Stage. The winners will be awarded $3,000 to donate to the charity of their choice.

2017 and 2018 winners John Campbell and Morgan Sanders, EMS professionals representing AMR/Santa Clara County, will be back to go for the “three-peat” and plan to donate their prize money to the Alzheimer's Association. Herb Alpers and Tom Evans from South Santa Clara County Fire/CAL Fire won the inaugural contest in 2016 and hope to prevail again this year so they can benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Bret Barker from the U.S. Army competed in 2018 and will be back again this year with Gayle Gaggero. The team plans to donate any winnings to the Gary Sinise Foundation. New to the competition this year are veterans Bruno Ponsot (French Navy) and Gabe Perez (U.S. Air Force), who are competing on behalf of the Gilroy Veterans Hall.

The four teams will compete in three elimination rounds including Appetizer, Entrée, and Dessert. After each round, a panel of judges will evaluate taste, creativity, appearance and use of garlic to determine who will move on to the next round. Judges this year include Chef Eddie G (Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race), Adam Sanchez (Co-Owner of The Milias Restaurant), Mike Benson (Owner of The Claddagh Pub), and Mark Segovia (Chef at Segovia Catering).

Denise Buessing, Co-Chair of the 2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival Recipe Contest Committee, said, “We love our local heroes, and we love kicking off the Festival on Friday morning with this intense competition that’s all for a good cause!”


About the Gilroy Garlic Festival
Presented by St. Louise Regional Hospital, the 41st annual Gilroy Garlic Festival will be on July 26, 27, and 28, 2019, at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, California. The Gilroy Garlic Festival has been officially certified by GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® as the world’s largest garlic festival and draws thousands of garlic-loving guests from around the globe every year. This three-day celebration features gourmet garlicky food, live entertainment, cooking competitions, and fun for the whole family. For more information, go to www.gilroygarlicfestival.com.


Media Contact: Katherine Filice
Phone (408) 710-8066