On Tuesday, June 20, more than 40 of the best chefs, winemakers, brewers, and mixologists from across the country and around the world will convene at the Navy Yard, in Philadelphia, for the 12th Annual Great Chefs Event. The Great Chefs Event began in 2006 by partners Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a local non-profit that raises funds and awareness for pediatric cancer research. In 2008, Vetri and Benjamin founded Vetri Community Partnership, which helps provide healthy school lunch and nutrition education to Philadelphia youth. Today, the event is a dual fundraiser for both nonprofits, raising more than $700,000 in 2016. General admission and After Party Access tickets are currently on sale.
The event brings 1200 guests to the unique space of Urban Outfitters, Inc.’s corporate campus at the Navy Yard for an evening of fun, food and charity. As in years’ past, Marc Vetri has hand-selected the list of participating chefs, calling on friends and respected colleagues from LA, NYC, Chicago, Italy and more. The chefs will donate their time, talent and food, creating delicious samplings indicative of their own personal styles. Participating chefs include both veterans of the event, as well as several noteworthy newcomers.
Among the new participating chefs this year are Hugh Acheson of 5 & 10 in Athens, GA; Frank Castronovo & Frank Falcinetti of Frankies Spuntino & Prime Meats in Brooklyn; Derek Dammann of Maison Publique in Montreal, QC; Evan Funke of Felix in LA; Sara Jenkins of Nina June in Rockport, ME; and Ryan Poli of The Catbird Seat in Nashville. Returning chefs include Paul Kahan of Blackbird, avec, The Publican and Big Star in Chicago; Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter in NYC and television personality on The Food Network; and back for the first time since 2013, Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore and star of The Food Network’s Ace of Cakes and Cake Masters.
Several of this year’s participating chefs have also been named finalists in the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards, including Outstanding Restaurateur, Ken Oringer (Toro, NYC) and Outstanding Chef, Outstanding Service, Michael Solomonov (Cook n Solo, Philadelphia). Also present will be regional Best Chefs finalists: Michael Cimarusti (Connie & Ted’s, LA), Andy Ticer + Michael Hudman (Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis) and Greg Vernick (Vernick, Philadelphia).
The country’s best winemakers, brewers and mixologists will also be present, including Joe Campanale (Annona), Summer Wolff (Indie Wineries, NYC), Stacey Swenson (Dante, NYC), Jesse Vida (BlackTail, NYC), Neal Bodenheimer (Cure), Bill Covaleski (Victory Brewing Company), Tom Kehoe (Yard’s Brewing Co.), Tom Peters (Monk’s Café, Russian River Brewing Company), and Carol Stoudt (Stoudt’s Brewing Company).
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.