CLIENT SUCCESS: The Chef’s Academy Donates 100,000 Meals To Local Food Bank
by Wesley Hyatt on 10/08/2012
The Chef’s Academy held its second annual Triangle Chef Showdown, and with MMI’s assistance, the event was a huge success. With considerable media involvement and more than 400 attendees, the culinary school reached its impressive goal of providing 100,000 meals to donate to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.
Preparation for the event included a news release about the event and its purpose: to raise funds for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to combat hunger in the region and raise awareness about this issue, noting that The Chef’s Academy is actively involved in supporting September as Hunger Action Month. Another release promoted the four distinguished chefs competing in the event, and a media alert promoted overall activities to encourage coverage by reporters. Further promotion came from updates on The Chef Academy’s Twitter account and its Facebook page.
On the day of the event, MMI worked in coordination with The Chef’s Academy to record a video of the evening, take still pictures and assist with overall management of the activities. Two other MMI clients also donated their time and talents to the event. Mims Distributing Company, a beer distributor that services a nine-county area in and around the Triangle, led a beer tasting for the beer lovers at the event. Popular Raleigh-native musical group The Chris Hendricks Band helped entertain guests with live entertainment throughout the evening.
Several major local media figures took part in the Triangle Chef Showdown. Sharon Delaney and Valonda Calloway, hosts of NBC17’s My Carolina Today, served as emcees and kept the crowd entertained by announcing point updates every 30 minutes and interviewing each chef and sous chef throughout the competition. Serving as sous chefs were four CEOs from some of the top businesses in the Triangle, including Caroline Welch, president and general manager of WTVD and ABC11. She worked with the winning contestant, Chef Ryan Payne, executive chef at The Weathervane at Southern Season in Chapel Hill, to prepare his delicious butternut squash and sweet potato bisque with pulled pork brisket and pickled orange peppers.
Additionally, students from The Chef’s Academy did a wonderful job providing guests with an endless supply of terrific food. Students were responsible for preparing all of the appetizers, desserts and pastries, and helped the four competing celebrity chefs prepare tastings of their dishes for attendees to sample and vote on. Pastry students from The Chef’s Academy prepared all of the desserts for the evening. Twelve pastry students were responsible for setting up their own dessert stations, with each station having its own unique dessert menu, completely created by the student. The event also included a silent auction and a wine tasting led by Mary Margaret McCamic, director of career services and wine instructor for The Chef’s Academy.
As hoped, the results surpassed the success of the 2011 Triangle Chef Showdown event, which donated 85,902 meals to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. A great time was had by all participants, and the event served as a wonderful opportunity for students, instructors and guests to donate to those in our community who are less fortunate and suffer from hunger on a daily basis.
If you are interested in receiving assistance from MMI for an event that draws large participation and media interest, please contact your account executive.