Over $1 million was raised for Alex's Lemonade Stand and the Vetri Foundation as chefs doled out their own delicious creations, much to the delight of those in attendance. The cause is what matters, though: the money raised will go to help find cures for all childhood cancers and help promote healthy eating and living to kids.
The Great Chefs Event went so well that the 2013 edition is already being discussed! To relive the 2012 event, check out this photo slideshow (or use the embed below) and our list of chefs.
More videos from the event to come.
Vetri addressed the problem of unhealthy food and poor social interactions in our nation's school lunch programs. He also shares why he chose to make the table the real focal point: “The key here is to establish an environment that promotes healthy eating and creates awareness, and family-style eating creates that exact environment.”
Last year, Charles Howard, a featured blogger on the Huffington Post highlighted the foundation's Eatiquette program. He points out that this program is different that others of its kind: "Rather than simply engage students on what they eat, they also challenge them around how they eat."
See more of how the Dream Camp and the Eatiquette program is helping low income families establish a healthy routine on the Huffington Post’s website.
Be sure to watch the video below to see the Vetri Foundation’s Eatiquette Program in action.
The Vetri Foundation again has the pleasure of serving up healthy "farm-to-fork" meals at Hartford's Dream Camp at Trinity College. Director of Culinary Operations and seasoned food world veteran, Tia McDonald, describes returning home to implement Eatiquette: “I feel like I’ve come full circle, I’m giving back to the community that I grew up in.”
See more of what Tia had to say about the challenges of Dream Camp 2012 on the Trinity College website.
Below is a playlist of videos about Dream Camp, Eatiquette, and the importance of healthy school lunch, including a video of last year's Hartford Dream Camp:
Learn more about Dream Camp at vetrifoundation.org.
"You have to try it"
"I hope we have it next year."
"I like the fish tacos with the salsa."
The students at Community Partnership School by all accounts loved their new school lunch program. Not just the delicious meal but also the more fun, more social, family style of eating. The staff loved it too, having to deal with less behavior problems after the kids ate a healthy lunch.
Says Eric Jones, head of Community Partnership School, "This has been a godsend...working with Vetri, incorporating Eatiquette...It's helped us see that it actually is affordable. It's not that hard to provide healthy alternatives for school meals."
Not that hard, and sorely needed. Nearly 1/3 children today are overweight or obese. Says Michelle Obama, "The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake."
Read more about Eatiquette at vetrtifoundation.org.
Philly Metro profiles the Vetri Foundation's Eatiquette healthy school lunch program at People for People Charter School.
Director of operations at People for People, Andre C. Williams, raves, "We used to have rectangular tables with benches, platters, plastic plates and silverware, and food made from frozen food, Now we have tables, chairs, real silverware, and fresh food except for the tomatoes in the lasagna. Much of the food is handmade. When we have steak and brisket, the students go home and brag about it to their parents."
Read the Metro article on Eatiquette here.
In his most recent Inquirer review, Craig Laban writes:
Alla Spina is more in its element batter-frying snails with a side of garlicky tartar dip, curing lamb shoulder into rosemary- and clove-scented speck, or tucking delicate mortadella hot dog links studded with pistachio into a house-baked bun with spicy pickles and cabbage relish. Oysters come juicy and hot, baked beneath a thin Parmesan crust. Just slightly warmed rib eye carpaccio comes beneath a hale of shaved Parmesan and pickled pioppini mushrooms. "Schisola" polenta dumplings ooze with molten Taleggio cheese.
WHYY's Sarah Kaizar writes, with an audio quote, about "Eatiquette", a Vetri Foundation program that transforms school lunches into meals made with fresh ingredients. Tia McDonald, the director of culinary operations for the Vetri Foundation, is working with the Community Partnership School in North Central Philadelphia to combat unhealthy processed foods. McDonald expresses the importance of this program:
“It's a huge change, it's a shift in culture not only for that school but for the entire market place in K-12 which has become completely dependent on processed foods not only from a labor standpoint, but from a financial standpoint.”
Faculty members have already seen better student behavior. The kids appear calmer and more focused due to the healthier lunches. With the proper amount of "Eatiquette", these students will go far! See what "Eatiquette" is all about by visiting our website www.vetrifoundation.org.
Jen Murphy of The Wall Street Journal writes about Marc Vetri's passion for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and how he's gotten Brad Spence, Jeff Michaud, and other members of the Vetri Family into mixed martial arts.
In addition to BJJ, Marc practices Mysore-style Ashtanga Yoga. Finding his breath early in the day allows Marc to overcome the daily challenges that he faces in the restaurants.
Trey Popp of Philadelphia Magazine writes in the June 2012 issue about the Vetri Family's head-to-tail adventures:
"...go figure that Marc Vetri would be the one to hoist a Pop Art piglet—painted like a pink-and-periwinkle sunset and decked out with aquamarine leg warmers—over a beer bar perfumed by fryer oil. Christened Alex, after Jessica Beals’s shin-stockinged character in Flashdance, it’s a fitting mascot for Alla Spina, where dinner might start with deep-fried pig tails, continue with a whole pig’s head, and end with chocolate-covered bacon laid over soft-serve ice cream."
This month, Restaurant Hospitality features Vetri Family’s newest restaurant, Alla Spina, and discusses the new Italian twist on the gastropub concept. Alla Spina has a different feel than the other Vetri Family restaurants; it seems to entice patrons to have a beer. Value is an important function of Vetri’s new venture as one “can get a mortadella hot dog with spicy pickles and cabbage relish for $8 and wash it down with a 10 oz. glass of Dockstreet Dude de Garde, a Philadelphia artisan beer, for $5.” The food on the menu serves to compliment the 20 craft beers and 50-label bottled beers to provide for an ideal beer experience. Read the entire article here.
Writes Leah Blewett in a recent Philadelphia Weekly review of Alla Spina:
"[Alla Spina] fries the bony little buggers, rendering the considerable fat succulent and the strands of meat both crisp and redolent with piggy goodness—think crunchy bacon and fatty pork belly, twisted together around a bone not unlike a chicken wing. Awash in fennel agrodolce and topped with the filmiest hint of fennel fronds, they are best eaten with your fingers, a lip-smacking treat that manages to be at once sweet, sour, salty and rich. It would be safe to call them the most crave-able plate I’ve encountered in the city this year."
- Great Chefs Event 2013
Tue 06.11.13 at 12:00am