by David Mendez
Hey, remember our March Madness-esque Tucson Weekly Celebrity Showdown, in which we pitted various members of the Tucson community against each other in what amounted to be a silly popularity contest?
Well, the finals came down to the Old Pueblo's very own celebrity chef, Janos Wilder against Tucson's symbol of hope and resilience, Gabrielle Giffords.
However, when Janos learned of the pairing, he decided that he simply couldn't bring himself to compete against Gabby, sending us this note:
Huge thanks to the Tucson Weekly for letting me play in the contest and to all of you who voted for me. It's been a goofy blast and is one more reason I love living in Baja Arizona.
But come on, we all know who the real Tucson hero is: Gabby Giffords. Your groundswell of support has given me the privilege to meet her in the finals. What makes me proudest is to withdraw and help proclaim her champion. With Gabby we are all winners. She represents the best of Tucson and our aspirations and dreams of a brighter future here.
I'll keep cooking for you,
DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails
Classy move, Janos.
You may be wondering what drove us to wait so long to announce this...well, as Janos mentioned on the Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails Facebook page (pay attention to the note, bolded by us):
This is a Win-Win
Thanks to you we ran through the competition like the Wildcat's on their championship ride. In true wild card style we took down Chuck Bowden, down went Kelly, then Guthrie, Beard didn't make a ripple and now we get to honor Gabby Giffords, the woman who represents the best in all of us.
This has been a blast, a funny, nutty diversion, a real off-beat Tucson ride. This part ends here. I contacted the Weekly yesterday and withdrew from the contest. Come on, we all know who the real hero is. As she is for many of you, Gabby is an inspiration to me and represents so much that is good about our home here in Baja Arizona. It's time to honor her.
I will be contacting her to do a fund raiser at DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails to raise money for the charity of her choice.
Unfortunately, for one reason or another, a fundraiser never came together — it happens to the best of us, even a widely-renowned chef and Tucson Weekly Celebrity Showdown finalist such as Janos.
So Gabrielle Giffords is your champion, Tucson — thanks to everyone for playing along and supporting us AND your favorites.
We'll see you at Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails for refreshments