Hoping to cook well for charity

I'm preparing to kick some culinary butt this weekend at the ninth-annual Recipe for Hope event sponsored by Hair Peace Charities.

Started in 2005 by CBS traffic anchor Bonny Diver, who does traffic reports for KDKA NewsRadio, the local nonprofit raises money to buy wigs for women undergoing chemotherapy.

At the sold-out event Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Mayernick Center in Ohio Township, more than a dozen local personalities will be serving up small bites to some 200 guests. The event includes an open bar with martinis, wine, beer and soda; live music; and a silent auction featuring sports memorabilia and tickets and other goodies.

Also representing the PG is garden writer Doug Oster and Dan Gigler, who is one of the writers of the Munch column.

It's not a true contest in the sense that the food's not being judged. But our reputations will be on the line nevertheless, which is why we're glad (and confident) our dishes will knock the socks off the competition.

I'll be preparing on site a recipe I co-cooked for the Steel City Big Pour in 2011 -- Maple Syrup and Porter-Poached Apples with Maple Whipped Cream and Cinnamon Toasted Oats. And talk about going local: The maple syrup comes from a tree a neighbor tapped in my front yard. Gigs will be making Curried Butternut Squash Soup while Doug will wow the crowd with Lobster Lasagna.

You can donate to the charity at hairpeace.org.

Gretchen McKay: gmckay@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay.

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