Friday, June 6, 2008

Hey, what's cookin'?

In court, judges dish it out and attorneys take it.

It'll be more of the same, but with a tasty and altruistic twist, on Tuesday, June 10 at 6 p.m., when Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Elizabeth Gleicher and Mark Granzotto host the 1st Annual Culinary Challenge at their Pleasant Ridge home.

An all-star line-up of trial and appellate judges will be vying for the title of "2008 Judicial Iron Chef" with a tempting array of appetizers and desserts. Here's part of that previously mentioned twist: members of the bar are being invited to sample and judge what the judges are dishing out.

Nicole Wilinski, treasurer of the Women's Bar Association-Oakland County Region of WLAM (Women Lawyers Association of Michigan) and one of the challenge's organizers, has the question of the day: "Now that the tables are turned and the attorneys get to be 'judge,' who will be crowned the 2008 Judicial Iron Chef?"

I put that very question to Michigan Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kelly, one of the contenders for the judicial cooking crown. Kelly's response: "I'm bringing 'Oat and Almond Delight' to the competition. It's a recipe from my 101-year old mother. How can I miss with that?"

I think we've identified the challenge's sentimental favorite.

Now, here's the rest of the twist: the culinary challenge is not just about winning the coveted Iron Chef award. Wilinski explains that "in addition to raising money for several deserving charities [WLAM Foundation Scholarship Fund, Alternatives for Girls, and Crossroads for Youth], this fun and casual event provides a relaxed venue for networking with members of the bench and bar."

Each participating judge has been advised to bring enough food for 125 people to taste. This is a fundraising event for some worthy charities, folks. Let's hope that number is a huge underestimation.

For tickets or information, contact Wilinski at (586) 563-3500 or

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