Welcome Chefs!

Save the date for the 17th annual 50 Men Who Cook on August 14, 2021

Chef Registration

To register as a chef, please email 50MenWhoCook@casadekalb.org or use the contact form below.

    General Information

    • There is no cost to participate in 50 Men Who Cook, but we do ask you to provide your own ingredients for the recipe you serve.
    • Each cook is asked to prepare & bring 250 sample-size servings of their favorite recipe in one of the following categories: appetizer, side dish, entree or dessert. A serving is considered 1-2 forkfuls or bites.
    • There will be a chef orientation in July (time & date to be determined). This meeting is crucial to the success of the event and attendance is appreciated. All first time chefs are highly encouraged to attend the meeting. Returning chefs are highly recommended to attend the meeting as well.  Returning chefs can be helpful to new chefs and it is a great refresher of the event. If you are unable to attend or have questions, contact Jessica Sandlund at 50MenWhoCook@casadekalb.org or 815-895-2052.
    • The event is held at Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center on NIU’s campus—231 North Annie Glidden Road, DeKalb, IL 60115. Chefs are asked to arrive prior to the start of the event to set up their station. Each chef is asked to stay for the entire evening to meet and greet people and give information on their dish.
    • There will be no kitchen available prior to or during the event. There will be no access to the kitchen or kitchen equipment. Please make special note of this and plan accordingly. Ice will be provided as needed.
    • No outside alcohol is permitted, including alcoholic beverages as part of your dish. Any alcohol used in preparing your dish must be cooked off.
    • Photographs of the event and chefs will be taken throughout the evening and used for event promotion in the future. If you do not wish to have your photo used by CASA DeKalb County in CASA event marketing (digital and print), please notify CASA in writing.

    Supply List


    • Banquet tables-tables will be shared depending on social distancing recommendations in Summer 2021
    • Warming trays and burners, for those that request it 
    • Ice for those who request it
    • Small plates, bowls, plastic forks and spoons, salt and pepper
    • Gloves for preparing and serving food
    • Hand washing stations, paper towels, and hand soap dispensers
    • Trash cans
    • Bottled water for the chefs
    • Warming trucks and cooling trucks to keep your second half of samples hot or cold.
    • Note: Electricity will not be available! Remember, we will have warming and cooling trucks on site and chafing dishes to keep your dishes warm or cool while you serve.


    • Your own serving utensils, if needed
    • Decorations for your station (optional, but highly recommended. Prizes for best-decorated station!)
    • Good Food
    • Sous chefs may be limited in 2021 depending on Covid restrictions in place on the date of the event.

    Event Entry & Unloading:

    • Details regarding event entry and unloading for 2021 are TBD. 

    Volunteer Helpers:

    • Student volunteers from Sycamore Key Club will be available to assist chefs during the evening. Let them know if you have any questions or problems.


    • You will attend the event for free. 
    • We also encourage chefs to consider selling tickets to the event (remember that every vote for your dish counts!). However, you are not required to sell tickets. Send your family, co-workers and/or friends to this website (www.casadekalb.org/50menwhocook/) where they can buy their tickets. 

    Food Safety Information-Please Read!


    • Hot = no less than 135 degrees
    • Cold = must be below 41 degrees
    • If someone gets food sickness from the event, it may result in future events being cancelled, so please take this to heart and be cautious about temperature.
    • Temperature will be controlled during the event (VAC heating and cooling vans used for catering)—the biggest concern is transporting your food from your house to the event. If you are transporting hot food-must remain hot, cold must remain cold (41-135 bacteria grows). If you need help with this, please contact Jesus Romero at Taxco restaurant. He said you can stop by any time, and he will help you with transportation of your food, presentation of your food, specific serving suggestions or any other food-specific questions you have. He is more than happy to help in any way.
    • If you are transporting something hot, if you can get to the venue in a half hour or less you should be okay.
    • Jesus Romero/Taxco Restaurant, Sycamore will have a thermometer available to measure the temperature of your food when you arrive at the event.


    • Additional guidelines are TBD depending on Covid restrictions in Summer 2021.
    • Strict attention should be given to personal hygiene. Clean outer garments should be worn.
    • Eating, drinking, and smoking are not allowed in areas where food is being prepared. Wash hands frequently. Gloves will be provided and are required for you to wear if you have direct contact with the food (not necessary if you are using a serving utensil).
    • Children and non-food handlers are prohibited from food preparation areas.
    • Only equipment which is safe, in good repair and clean should be used. Equipment must be clean, organized and presentable at all times.
    • Please use pasteurized eggs if you make homemade ice cream, hollandaise sauce, or anything else that usually uses raw eggs.
    • Inbodens Meat Market sells dry ice if you need to keep something frozen (like ice cream). The cooling vans available will keep items cold, not frozen.
    • If you want foil pans ahead of time, stop by Taxco and ask for Jesus (otherwise, they will be available at the event).
    • Any food that is left over from the event is recommended to be thrown out for food safety reasons.
    • For additional information, review the USDA guidelines online regarding food safety. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/keep-food-safe-food-safety-basics/ct_index

    Thank you again for participating in the 17th annual 50 Men Who Cook, you are crucial to our success!