Father Joseph Mosley, pastor of Saint Peter Parish in Wellsboro and Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish in Elkland, is one of 30 ‘pastor chefs’ participating in Rectory, Set, Cook!, a virtual fundraiser for parishes and hunger programs of Catholic Social Services. Father Mosley made homemade pierogi for his recipe. (Photo/Eric Deabill)

SCRANTON – The competition in the kitchen is heating up!

Less than two weeks after the launch of ‘Rectory, Set, Cook!’ – a culinary clash featuring 30 “pastor chefs” from the Diocese of Scranton – more than $100,000 has already been raised.

Each participating priest has a video featuring himself preparing a treasured family recipe or something he swiped off the internet. All of the videos are available to the public – and anyone can vote for their favorite recipe or pastor.

Each vote costs $10, with $5 going to the parish of the pastor chef and the other $5 going to anti-hunger initiatives sponsored by Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton.

At the beginning of his video, Monsignor David L. Tressler, pastor of Saint Ignatius Loyola Parish in Kingston, noted the importance of supporting the work of Catholic Social Services. With the help of his niece, Monsignor Tressler made Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.

“We continue to be so conscious of wanting to serve those who are less fortunate and in need of food. The Diocese of Scranton has a rich heritage of taking care of those in need,” Monsignor Tressler said. “We’re very happy to be a part of this.”

Donors are able to vote for as many recipes or pastors as they wish. They can also contribute any dollar amount they wish, as long as it is over $10.

“We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of community and corporate generosity that has already taken place in the first few days of this event,” Sandra Snyder, Director of Foundation Relations and Special Events, said.

Each of the “pastor chef” videos is unique and engaging.

After explaining several times that “fat is flavor” while cooking up an hour-long meat sauce, Father Seth Wasnock showed his culinary prowess by using several-foot-high-flames when making bananas Foster for dessert.

Some, on the other hand, didn’t have as much success. Father Brian J.T. Clarke not only burned bread crumbs but missed ingredients for a salad dressing he attempted to make. Father Jonathan Kuhar didn’t fare any better by mistaking salt for sugar in his recipe for cream puffs.

In addition to donor participation, support for Rectory, Set, Cook! is provided by the program’s Executive Chef Sponsor, The Hawk Family Foundation, and 14 other sponsors who helped the program get off to a strong start. Sponsorships are still being accepted and sponsors can also be featured in a commemorative cookbook that is expected to come out in May.

To view all of “pastor chef” videos, visit diocesescranton.org and click on the “Rectory, Set, Cook!” icon on the homepage.

Voting will continue through midnight April 10, with winners announced April 11.