Master Chefs are Named from Among ‘Cooks With Collars’ Priests, but Everyone Was a Winner

Inspired by dozens of priests who made cooking videos for Cooks with Collars, thousands of parishioners from across the Diocese of Allentown voted during the last month to support their pastors and parishes.

All told, the event raised over $350,000 for local parishes plus an additional $50,000 from sponsors to support Catholic Charities ministries which serve the entire Diocese of Allentown community.

This year’s Cooks with Collars ‘Master Chefs’ are:

Top Fundraiser: Monsignor Thomas Koons, Assumption Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Northampton.

With help in the kitchen from Mrs. Susan Parker, Principal at Good Shepherd Catholic School, Northampton, and her son, Kyle Parker, who is a graduate of Mercy School for Special Learning, Monsignor Koons created delicious, homemade soft pretzels. Monsignor and his kitchen partners inspired parishioners, family, and friends to contribute $54,454 for the parish.

Top Parish Participation (tie):

Father Christopher Butera, Sacred Heart Parish, Bath.

Father Butera teamed up with the Knights of Columbus to create homemade Italian sausage soup for his entire parish community. Their efforts inspired votes from over 40 percent of the Sacred Heart Parish community.

Father George Kochuparambil (Fr. Johnson), Most Blessed Trinity Parish, Tremont.

Originally from the Southern Indian state of Kerala, where the Apostle St. Thomas preached the Gospel of the Lord over 2,000 years ago, Father Johnson shared his mother’s Chicken Tikka Masala recipe. In return, over 40 percent of his parishioners turned out to vote for their pastor and their parish.

“The response to Cooks with Collars has been overwhelming,” says Paul Acampora, Executive Director for Stewardship and Development. “It’s’ been a great opportunity to showcase our remarkable priests, and a very special way to showcase our community’s support for their pastors and parishes.”

The Cooks with Collars competition concluded on February 28, but it’s still possible to enjoy videos of your favorite cook at

“These cooks are great online, but they’re even better in person,” said Acampora. “I encourage everybody to visit their local parish this week!”

Below, Left to Right: Monsignor Koons, Father Johnson, and Father Butera.


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