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Taste of Hope: A Chefs Competition

October 28, 2024
Frederik Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park


Event Information

Taste of Hope: A Chefs Competition is West Michigan’s most prestigious culinary event, supporting the American Cancer Society’s efforts to eliminate cancer. The American Cancer Society’s signature culinary, wine and spirits event, featuring some of West Michigan’s most popular restaurants and beverage vendors. While enjoying the best of West Michigan’s culinary scene, we raise our glasses to ending cancer as we know it. Every Cancer. Every Life.

Co-Presenting Sponsors

2024 Taste of Hope: A Chefs Competition is presented by Huntington Bank and Meijer.



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Culinary Experts

Culinary Experts

Event Details

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Event Chair

Michael Debri

Huntington Bank, Senior Vice President West Michigan Area Banking

Mike is a passionate advocate for the American Cancer Society and its impact across Michigan. His dedication to the Society’s mission stems from a deep commitment to supporting cancer patients and their families. Through his leadership of the Taste of Hope Gala, Mike has been instrumental in raising awareness and funds for life-saving research and support programs that benefit countless individuals throughout the state.

His involvement in the gala is a reflection of his belief in the power of community collaboration to drive meaningful change. By championing the American Cancer Society’s work, Mike is helping to create a brighter future where the fight against cancer is strengthened and hope remains alive for those affected.


Culinary Chair

Chef Shawn Kohlhaas

Culinary Cultivations, Principal/CEO

Chef Shawn Kohlhaas, a seasoned 30 plus year veteran of the food service industry, has been leading the way in new and fresh approaches in the food service industry. His passions have been in farm-to-table initiatives with an emphasis on local, organic and sustainable practices. Currently, Shawn is the acting lead consultant and CEO of Culinary Cultivations.

Shawn has been a steady advocate for the American Cancer Society, winning the West Michigan Volunteer of the Year award in 2023. Shawn’s work on Taste of Hope in West Michigan has led the way to raising over a half million dollars for our mission in the last two years.

Our Mission

Mission Funding: Michigan Cancer Research Fund

Since 1946, the American Cancer Society has supported researchers at pivotal points in their career – to give them the support they need to keep great research going or to take their ideas from dream to reality. The American Cancer Society is proud to have helped more than 24,000 investigators make important advances in prevention, early detection, treatment, and care for those with cancer. In fact, 50 of those investigators have gone on to win the Nobel Prize, considered the highest accolade any scientist can receive. As the largest private not-for-profit, non-governmental funder of cancer research in the US, the American Cancer Society has played a role in many of the major cancer research breakthroughs of the last century.

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Our Impact

110 Years

For more than 10 decades, the American Cancer Society has been dedicated to pursuing better outcomes for every cancer, every life. Today, more people are surviving cancer than ever before, but there is still work to be done. Join us, support us, and help us end cancer as we know it, for everyone.

$ 6.9 B

towards cancer research

68 %
Survival Rate

increase in five-year survival rate for all cancers combined

50.8 M
Saving Lives

lives touched in 2022

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