Last night’s 8th Annual Great Chefs Event, the yearly eating party thrown by Philadelphia superchef Marc Vetri, was held at Urban Outfitters in the Navy Yard, with proceeds going to help Alex’s Lemonade Stand eradicate childhood cancer, and to the Vetri Foundation for Children. Neuroblastoma took Alex Scott’s life when she was eight, and her parents, Jay and Liz Scott, carry on her goal of helping doctors find a cure for the disease.
Below: The Scotts’ story inspired Jeff Benjamin (left) and Marc Vetri (right) to not only to host the annual Great Chefs Event, but to start their own foundation to improve the health of kids. With them are Marco Rossi (chef, Le Cantine D and L’Osteria in Italy), and Sue Torres (executive chef/owner, Sueños in NYC).
Below: Mario and Katie Deangelis. (Loving her dress. I made it a point to only photograph people in yellow, or tall blondes. Let's see how well I did.)
Below: Tom Kehoe, co-owner/brewer at Yards Brewing Company, tells me that this is one of his favorite working shirts, and he wears it every year at the Great Chefs Event. He loves participating in this event as it's for such a great cause.
Below: Jennifer Morzano told me she was a big fan of Iron Chef Jose Garces, and was excited to finally meet him after watching him for years.
Below: Helping out the Garces team at Great Chefs were Jen Carroll and Ela chef Billy Riddle.
Below: Chris Gali (center) is surrounded by the lovely Indhira Torres, Brittany Congdon, Casey Pidich, Alyson Pidich and Gizelle Hasbun.
Below: Definitely one of the best combos of the night, Matt Cabrey tells me he has pants just like these in pink, blue and red. Kara Callahan, from the Franklin Institute, tells me her favorite dishes from the night included Jonathan Waxman's swordfish tacos and Ken Oringer's wild rice.
Below: Karina Rouse, wearing a cute Missoni outfit, and Nick Mennell.
Below: Chef Marco Rossi, of Non è un Gelato, flew in from Italy. Here he's grating out lots of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for guests, who told me it was delicious.
Below: There were many auction items, but none was as exciting as the offer of Chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav, preparing a BBQ picnic with Victory Brewing, for 30 of your friends, at a location of your choice; that went for $12,000, and then auctioneer Billy Harris sold an additional one, for a total of $24,000. Another great auction item was a Kevin Sbraga-cooked (right) lunch for eight people at DeBragga Meats, with wines by Philip Colicchio, which sold for $7,000. In the center is Chef Michael Schwartz, chef/owner of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Harry's Pizzeria, and the Cypress Room. Sbraga was assisting Chef Schwartz at his food station for the evening.
Below: The McAuliffe family, Tom and Sherry, with kids Charlotte, who is a cancer survivor and one of Alex's little heroes, and Emily.
Below: Dominique Piscitelli, of the Vetri Foundation, and Tia McDonald, chef for the Vetri Foundation, who told me how excited she was to meet Jane Wiedlin from the Go-Go's. Wiedlin was in town for a Keswick Theatre show, and was a guest of Big Gay Ice Cream of NYC, which was scooping at the event. The Go-Go went to the Mutter Museum yesterday.
Below: Jemi Bello, Matt Nadu, James Boney and Kyu Lee were feverishly bidding on a four-day trip to Italy accompanying Marc Vetri. The winning bid was $26,000 and included a stay at the Venica Winery, dinner at La Frasca, a tour of Venice, and a three-night stay at Casa Pea, plus dinner with Marco Rossi at his restaurant in Italy.
Below: The Clio (Boston) crew: Thomas Goodamo, Ken Oringer, Sean Brock and Monica Glass. Monica, who you may know was a pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton's 10 Arts for years, is now the pastry chef at Clio, and congratulations are in order as she's been named one of Food & Wine magazine's best new pastry chefs of 2013.
Below: Barbara and Sal Vetri. My night is always complete when I get a shot of these two stylish people.
Below: Emcee for the night, Fox 29's Mike Jerrick, assists Jeff Benjamin, as he tries out his keys to the custom-made liquor cabinet filled with liquor. Two hundred keys were sold for $50, for a chance to win the spirits. A winner had tried out her key shortly after I took this photo, but was nervous and it seemed like it didn't fit. The organizers knew the number of the key, and had the name and number of the woman. They called her, as she had left. She returned and then took her prize home.
Before I knew it, the end of another successful Great Chefs Event was at hand. It's always a great feeling when an event of this magnitude goes off without a hitch, and knowing that the proceeds raised will go to make so many children's lives a little easier. Below: Lorenzo Errico, La Colombe. See you next year.