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Challenge pays off

Principals' culinary contest whips up $9,000 for Laguna Beach schools.

November 21, 2013
  • Laguna Beach Unified School District principals Joanne Culverhouse, Chris Duddy, Ron LaMotte and Jenny Salberg, left to right, are introduced as they prepare for the fifth annual SchoolPower Chef Challenge at the Lumberyard on Tuesday.
Laguna Beach Unified School District principals Joanne… (Don Leach, Coastline…)

The fifth SchoolPower Chef Challenge netted about $9,000 for Laguna Beach Unified schools on Monday night, according to a news release.

Diners who participated in the fundraiser at the Lumberyard Restaurant enjoyed two meals — chosen by each team of two principals — and then voted for their favorite appetizer, entree and dessert.

The team of Chris Duddy and Ron LaMotte, principals at El Morro and Top of the World elementary schools, prevailed over the duo of Jenny Salberg and Joanne Culverhouse, principals at Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School, the release said.

"The Duddy-LaMotte finale of butterscotch budino likely cemented their win, according to the final tally," the release said. "However, Duddy credited the victory to pure strategy."

Chef Challenge has raised $49,138 in its five years, and organizers thanked the Lumberyard for hosting the dinner.

Lumberyard owner Cary Redfearn was pleased to give back.

"I can't think of a better way to say thank you to the schools for preparing our children so well," Redfearn said in the release.

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SchoolPower, a nonprofit, raises money for all four of Laguna Beach's public schools.

— Bryce Alderton

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