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Monday, October 26, 2015

Inspirational People

Five years ago, while I was still the Chef at Terrain at Styer's, we did a wellness day for an organization that finds ways to take care of breast cancer patients and survivors through a myriad of therapies and nutritionists. Unfortunately this wellness day came only two weeks after learning our own Aunt Beth had just been diagnosed, thus putting extra compassion and care into this wellness day.

That day I met Sue Weldon, founder and president of Unite For HER (uniteforher.org), and several other people who work for the organization, as well as some of their speakers and guests. After several long emotional talks, that Sue was incredibly nice and patient for having with me, there began a slow transformation within me. This was when I began to learn how to reach within myself and understand how I too can be more compassionate and understand that my craft as a chef can have such a radical effect on someone’s health and life. I have since been able to work with Sue and Unite for HER many times, and have grown to love them and cherish my relationship with such amazing and inspirational people.

toasted barley & quinoa salad, roasted root vegetables, brussels sprouts, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, maple vinaigrette

This past week, I was once again one of the guest chefs at their annual Harvest fundraiser. There were many amazingly talented chefs and artisans there donating their time and products, as well as many attendees willing to help with their wallets. THIS is the sense of community that I am trying to find, capture, and nourish. A night that brings people together in the name of helping those who need help, is a beautiful thing. This night was the kind of feeling that I would like to recreate more than once a year. It was such a cool feeling looking out over the crowd, and not just seeing some great chefs I’ve had the honor of sharing a stove with, but seeing so many familiar faces in the crowd who recognized me, and had that old friend feel to it.

These are the moments that can make us all feel like great providers for our friends, families, and neighbors, community, and therefore bringing a sense of accomplishment. It was a night that I brought a picture of Aunt Beth with me, so she could enjoy the night too. It was a night that I hope people were able to take away more than just a delicious bottle of wine, but take away a sense of accomplishment. So thank you to Unite for HER, and Sue Weldon, for putting this whole thing together, and allowing me to once again be a part of something so special that you do, I cannot wait to get started on the next adventure……

dates, bourbon, chocolate, hazelnut, coconut lollipops

 Recipes coming soon................

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Having had some amazing adventures during my 20 year career, beginning as a dishwasher all the way to Executive Chef and cooking for the James Beard Foundation, my goal now is to continue exploring food with people as passionate as I am. Whether it's to help a restaurant develop their menu, team and costs, throw a spectacular experiential dining event on the Main Line of Philadelphia or surrounding areas, or simply to experiment and cultivate a new culinary vision, I'm on a quest and looking for people to join me.

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