The Vetri Empire in SJ Magazine

August 16, 2013

New Jersey’s SJ Magazine featured our founder Marc Vetri in their last edition! They focus in on his work through the Foundation:

“Along with success, Vetri will tell you, comes a responsibility to give back. For eight years, Vetri has organized The Annual Great Chefs event, which brings in chefs from around the world to prepare food for guests. This year’s event saw more than 1,200 people cram into Urban Outfitters’ headquarters for some gourmet bites from featured chefs like José Garces and Marco Rossi, who flew in from Bergamo, Italy. The event’s silent auction featured a six-person trip to Italy with Vetri and his business partner, chef Jeff Michaud, which went for $26,000. In all, the evening raised over $1 million for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Vetri’s own nonprofit, The Vetri Foundation for Children, has taken on the noble task of fighting the childhood obesity epidemic. Its unique program, Eatiquette, has brought healthy foods and the concept of family-style dining to five Philadelphia charter schools.

Students in the program have lunch, served family-style, at round tables so they can pass food and hold conversations with each other. The children take turns serving as the day’s table captain, setting the table beforehand and bringing food to the table. Students use real plates and silverware (not plastic), and before every meal, they hear about the day’s menu from the chef – one with experience working in restaurants, not cafeterias. Sample selections include primavera pasta with a sauce made of roasted and pureed sweet potatoes or baked ziti with a side of roasted fennel salad and, for dessert, cinnamon-apple rice pudding.

“We started the Vetri Foundation to help children understand the connection between healthy eating and healthy living,” Vetri says. “Family-style eating plays an important role in that. They are interacting with each other, laughing. They don’t even realize that they’re eating healthy. Community builds confidence. If they are able to take that into their homes and hold onto that, and then take that into their lives, they’re going to be stronger for it, healthier and more successful. Then they will be the ones who are going to be able to give back.””

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