Chef's cooking goes to the dogs, cats

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Stephen Bailey
  • 301st Fighter Wing
Staff Sgt. John Dake, 301st Services Squadron, is always looking for an opportunity to showcase his passion for cooking and to satisfy his desire in lending a helping hand to people in need. 

That opportunity came recently when he visited a local pet store to purchase his new family pet - a baby kitten interestingly named, Cayenne, after his favorite seasoning. 

"I saw a notice in the pet store's window that the owners were soliciting for donations to help with the care and feeding of the numerous pets they were trying to help," Sergeant Dake said. 

He mentioned that a great money maker idea could be to 'raffle off a chef.' He then explained that he would be willing to prepare and serve a five-course meal to the winner and would provide all of the food if all the raffle proceeds could go to the pet shop. 

"Needless, to say, the owners were extremely excited!" 

Work then began to advertise and promote "Paws and Claws" which, according to the organizers of the event, took off like gangbusters with hundreds of tickets being sold and more than two thousand dollars raised for the charity. The grand prize winner just happened to be Heather Hays, a local television personality for FOX 4 News, along with a few of her friends, who were wined and dined during the grand prize evening. 

"A huge 'thank you' to a man who cares about his craft - and about the world around him. He donated countless hours to prepping and preparing the meal he proudly served. Kindness like his is not often seen," said Ms. Hays. 

Sergeant Dake, a 2003 graduate of Aims Culinary School in Dallas, prepared the five-course meal to the winning eight. "The evening was great and everyone seemed to enjoy the food and all the preparations," Sergeant Dake said. 

"These events give me the chance to strengthen my cooking skills and it's a great way to network and develop future opportunities. I was glad the event was a huge success."
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