Once again, Philadelphia’s more thoughtful (and stylish) foodies gathered in support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for the 8th annual Great Chefs Event. With more than 1,000 guests joining 40+ celebrity chefs, the wet weather was held at bay by the positive atmosphere. So positive, in fact, that the Vetri Foundation and Alex’s Lemonade Foundation announced that they have surpassed their goal of raising $1 million dollars in support of cancer research.
“I am happy to be here,” Iron Chef Michael Symon tells me as I sample one of his outrageously delicious lamb ribs. “I wasn’t able to be here in person last year, so I am glad I could make the trip this year.”
Held at the Urban Outfitters campus at the Naval Yard, the lineup of participating chefs reads like a who’s who of culinary all stars. From Jose Garces to Philly’s own Jennifer Carroll and Kevin Spraga, the attendees were afforded the opportunity to sample some of the world’s most sought after fair. “You have to try the pork belly tacos,” a guest remarks as she points in the direction of the table set up by Jonathan Waxman, a pioneer of California cuisine. (She was right, they were outstanding.)
A little more than half way through the evening, the crowd gathered for a live auction. The high energy bidding war was highlighted by one particular item: a 4 night food-tour of Italy accompanied by Marc Vetri. That lot sold for an amazing $26,000.
When the main event ended at 9pm, the lucky few that purchased the limited amount of after-party tickets made their way over to Marc Vetri’s restaurant Alla Spina. With music provided by Philly’s premier DJ and drummer Quest Love, the after party managed to continue the high culinary expectation set from earlier that evening.
With all funds (including the tips the bartenders received) going to charity, all in attendance could be certain that their next day hangovers were well worth it.
All photos provided by Kim-Thao Nguyen