MAN Up n’ Cook: 2nd Annual Orlando Cook Off, June 13

2014 MAN UP n' Cook
2014 MAN UP n’ Cook

Orlando’s second annual urban Father’s Day Cook-off Celebration, MAN UP n’ Cook exposes vulnerable youth to positive male role models. This fun-filled, food-tasting experience will take place on Saturday, June 13 from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the Central Florida Fairgrounds, 4603 W. Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32808, under the covered pavilions located in the rear area.

Foodies from all ages can indulge in more than 30 menu items like Texas-style brisket, homemade macaroni n’ cheese, roasted corn salad and pistachio cake. Food samples will be available by purchasing a minimum of 12 tickets for $9, the day of the event. The proceeds will help raise funds for future mentoring activities.

Savory barbecue and mouthwatering side dishes will be served at MAN UP n’ Cook, complemented by music and family-friendly activities such as the Prodigy Youth Cultural Arts Corner, “Show Off” Youth Performances, the Adult/Youth Kickball Games, the Video Game Truck, and much more.

“Many of the youth we serve are flooded with mixed emotions on Father’s Day, some are angry, others sad, all are disappointed,” says Chris Wallace, Co-founder, MAN UP Mentoring, Inc. “The annual cook-off was created to begin the healing process because no child should feel left out on Father’s Day.”

This year we’ve added “Success Row,” an area designated to raise awareness about various education and recruitment opportunities. Vendors slated to attend include Bethune-Cookman University, Valencia Community College, Mid Florida Tech, Palm Beach Atlantic University, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, Gainesville Job Corp Center, Career Source of Central Florida, the United Negro College Fund and the Second Harvest Food Bank Culinary Training Program and their Distribution Center Training Program.

Resources and advisors will also be available for parents, ranging from financial literacy, health and wellness, to assistance with home ownership provided by the Central Florida Urban League. “To truly be effective it is imperative to wrap the entire household in resources and make the parental figure(s) aware of available opportunities,” explains Samantha Wallace, Founder of MAN UP Mentoring, Inc.

The winner of MAN UP n’ Cook 2014 was Mt. Zion Tabernacle Christian Church. This year’s line –up includes, Mt. Zion Christian Tabernacle, First Baptist of Orlando, Macedonia Missionary Baptist, St. Mark A.M.E, City of Orlando Fire Dept., City of Orlando Police Dept., Phi Beta Sigma Gamma Delta Sigma Alumni Chapter and local grill masters. The winner of the cook-off will receive a $200 cash prize and take home the winning trophy.

MAN UP Mentoring, Inc. is seeking corporate sponsors to match the amount raised. If you are interested in making a financial contribution, becoming a corporate sponsor or registering your organization please e-mail


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