A Platter of Thoughts

Alex’s Lemonade The Great Chef’s Event

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On Tuesday, June 9, more than 40 of the best chefs from across the country and around the world will convene in Philadelphia for the 10th annual Great Chefs Event hosted by the Vetri Family restaurants and the Vetri Foundation for Children. The event will benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the Vetri Foundation for Children. More than 1,200 guests will gather at the beautiful Urban Outfitters, Inc.’s corporate campus in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard for the culinary event of the year. The event’s equally in-demand After Party will be held at Lo Spiedo, Vetri’s newest restaurant, for chefs, sponsors, and VIP ticketholders, making this the first time the event is completely Navy Yard-based. Tickets are currently on sale at www.vetrifoundation.org.

Marc Vetri has hand-selected the list of participating chefs, calling on his friends from around the world, top talent from LA to NYC, Chicago to Italy. The chefs will donate their time, talent, and food, creating delicious samplings for guests at the walk-around tasting gala. Representatives from the country’s best bars, wineries, and craft breweries will also be present, including Joe Campanale, beverage director and co-owner of L’Apicio, L’Artusi and dell’anima in NYC, Gary Fish, founder of Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR, and many more (Please see a complete list of beverage participants below). Back to emcee the event again this year is Alicia Vitarelli, co-anchor of 6abc’s Action News at 4 p.m. and its weekly entertainment program, FYI Philly.

Participating chefs include veterans of the event, as well as several noteworthy newcomers. Returning chefs include Food Network Iron Chef and co-host of The Chew, Michael Symon and his co-host on Food Network’s new show, All Star Academy, Alex Guarnaschelli, as well as Bravo Top Chef: Masters contestant, Jonathan Waxman. Several of this year’s participating chefs have also been named finalists in the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards, including host Marc Vetri for Outstanding Chef and regional Best Chefs finalists Matthew Accarrino (SPQR), Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo (Animal), Jonathon Sawyer (Trentina), Marco Canora (Hearth), Alon Shaya (Shaya), Michael Cimarusti (Providence), among many other past years’ winners and nominees. Philadelphia’s culinary scene is being represented by Jose Garces (Garces Group), Kevin Sbraga (Sbraga Dining), Daniel Stern (R2L), Michael Solomonov (Cook N Solo), and Masaharu Morimoto (Morimoto). Great Chefs Event newcomers include Matt Rudofker (Momofuku Ssäm Bar), Benjamin Ford (Ford’s Filling Station), Matty Matheson (Parts & Labour), and Tony Maws (Craigie on Main). (Please see a complete list of chef participants below.)

In addition to the stellar selection of food and drink, guests will have the opportunity to bid on silent and live auction items. Auction items include one-of-kind culinary experiences, such as private dinners with participating chefs, hard-to-get concert tickets, autographed memorabilia, and much more.

This year, the After Party will be held at Lo Spiedo, the newest Vetri family restaurant. VIP ticketholders and sponsors of the event will have the exclusive opportunity to rub elbows with all of the event’s talented chefs in an intimate setting. Acclaimed barbecue chef Adam Perry Lang will be behind the grill once again. After Party guests can also count on additional bites from Vetri Family chefs, such as Brad Spence’s (Amis) famous 230 lb. (up from 210 lbs. last year!) mortadella sausage made in collaboration with Victory Brewing Co., select food trucks and vendors, as well as specialty cocktails and entertainment.

To mark the Great Chefs Event’s 10th anniversary, Marc Vetri has planned a once-in-a-lifetime event for Monday, June 8, the night before the event – a multi-course reunion dinner featuring all of the Food & Wine magazine Best New Chefs of 1999 – in the private dining room at Vetri Ristorante. One year after he and partner Jeff Benjamin opened their first restaurant, Marc Vetri was named one of the magazine’s Best New Chefs along with Paul Kahan (Blackbird, avec, The Publican), Suzanne Goin (Lucques, a.o.c.), John Besh (August, Besh Steak, La Provence, Domenica), Rocco DiSpirito (award-winning cookbook author of the Now Eat This! series), James McDevitt (Bohlsen Restaurant Group), and Dale Reitzer (Acacia), all of whom will be providing a course for the exclusive meal. Tickets are currently only available to Executive Chef and Chef Sponsors of the 2015 Great Chefs Event.

I hope to see you there and for more information and to purchase tickets visit www.vetrifoundation.org. or www.alexslemonade.org.  

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