New Location, Same Great Party: Schoolly D, Philly’s Top Chefs & at the Great Chefs Event After Party at Urban Outfitters, Inc. Building 3

May 24, 2017
The 12th Annual Great Chefs Event continues into the night at a new location featuring special guest chefs Adam Perry Lang, Michael Solomonov and Jose Garces. Entertainment provided by Philadelphia’s own rap legend, Schoolly D.

With a reputation nearly as big as the main event, the Great Chefs Event After Party returns at a new, walkable location! Building 3 at Urban Outfitters, Inc. is a fabulous industrial space just a few, short steps from the Great Chefs Event’s location. A limited number of tickets are available for the After Party, which will take place on Tuesday, June 20th from 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., immediately following the 12th Annual Great Chefs Event. Tickets can be purchased at until they sell out.

The evening’s theme of delicious food and drink will continue with late-night bites provided by award-winning barbecue chef and After Party veteran Adam Perry Lang (author of Serious Barbecue, BBQ25, and Charred & Scruffed). Lang will serve short ribs from right off the big rig smoker. For the second year in a row, Philly favorite and James Beard Award 2017 Winner for Outstanding Chefs, Michael Solomonov (Cook N Solo) will serve Federal Donuts fried chicken sandwiches. Another Philly staple, Jose Garces (Garces Group) will serve tacos from Distrito Food Truck. The After Party’s beer bar will be sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro, where they’ll be featuring their new slim cans. Other beverage sponsors include Philadelphia Distilling Bluecoat Gin and Tito’s Vodka.

DJing at the After Party for the first time is Philadelphia’s own gangsta rap legend Schoolly D. Schoolly D, born Jesse Bonds Weaver Jr., is one of the most iconic figures in rap music. Starting with his influential role in the creation of gangsta rap, Schoolly D has transcended the boundaries of genre and has created “rap” music that has been integrated in films (King of New York, & Bad Lieutenant, etc.), animated series (Aqua Teen Hunger Force), as well as sampled by some of the most prolific acts around including: Lil’ Wayne, The Chemical Brothers, and The Roots. Deemed a “pioneer…” by Jay-Z and credited by Ice-T as having the first gangsta rap record, Schoolly D’s career has given inspiration to countless musicians and fans alike. Sounds like “Gucci Time,” “Saturday Night,” and “P.S.K., What Does It Mean?” have become classics and illustrate the uncompromising narrative that has become synonymous with the hardcore gangsta rap of the eighties.

Vetri Family’s Chef Brad Spence will continue the annual Vetri tradition of presenting an epic mortadella at the event. In collaboration with Victory Brewing Co., Spence will prepare the giant mortadella with the goal of beating last year’s 230 lb. weight by stuffing pork into a natural casing and cooking it in a fermenting cask for 24 hours at the brewery. The giant mortadella will be transported the after party and served with mayo and hot pepper relish.

Culinary partners for the Great Chefs Event After Party include Julius Silvert, Baldor, Samuels & Sons, DiBruno Bros., and Niman Ranch. Starr Restaurants is the official After Party sponsors.


8 Things You Didn’t Know About the Great Chefs Event

April 27, 2017

This is the 12th year for the Great Chefs Event – Philadelphia’s premier culinary event that has raised millions of dollars to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Vetri Community Partnership.

Everyone knows it’s a nice summer evening with delicious food for two great causes. But did you know some of these interesting facts about the event?

  1. Last year, eight 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards finalists participated. This year six 2017 semi-finalists are participating at The Great Chefs Event. Winners are announced on May 1st – sample dishes for the best chefs and restaurants in the world!
  2. 6,347 is the average number of steps taken during the event. The event is held in the beautiful and eclectic Urban Outfitters headquarters at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. At 85′ wide and 400′ long, the space comfortably fits the chefs, vintners, breweries and attendees.
  3. $35,000 is the highest amount a live auction item has sold for. It happened in 2012 for a trip to Italy with Marc Vetri and Jeff Michaud. The live auction at The Great Chefs Event is not to be missed! Unique experiences such as culinary trips, unforgettable experiences and world-renown chefs cooking in your kitchen are some of the amazing items that you could win.
  4. You will never eat dessert the same way again. While many of the food samplings at The Great Chefs Event are savory, there are plenty of options to satisfy your sweet tooth. From Charm City Cakes – whose boundary-pushing cakes have been to presidential inaugurations – to Big Gay Ice Cream serving up boozy milkshakes, you’ll never want just plain vanilla again.
  5. Over 1,200 pounds of mortadella has been served at the After Party! For the last 6 years, the Vetri crew has cooked the Italian sausage in a beer and water bath for two days. Last year the sausage was 335 lbs and needed to be forklifted into Victory Brewing’s fermentation tank. Maybe this is the year the sausage can get into the Guinness Book of World Records? After Party access tickets are available for purchase and features additional bites from BBQ master Adam Perry Lang, Adam Arrison and Philly favorites Michael Solomonov and Jose Garces.
  6. The Great Chefs Event has inspired other culinary events around the country! Because The Great Chefs Event delivers an amazing experience and raises so much money, other chefs around the country have used the foundation that Marc Vetri, Jeff Benjamin and Jeff Michaud have built to create their own events in Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago, all benefiting ALSF.
  7. The first Great Chefs Event had only eight local chefs and 100 guests. That was in 2006. Fast forward 10 years, last year The Great Chefs Event had over 40 chefs and 1,000 guests. But here is the best part…
  8. Over $730,000 was raised in 2016. That’s the equivalent of over 3,500 students getting healthy lunches for a year through the Vetri Community Partnership and almost an entire month of childhood cancer research funded through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Now that you’re an insider, get your tickets before they sell out!


Enter to Win a VIP Package to the Great Chefs Event

April 19, 2017

Purchase a $50 raffle ticket to be entered to win this exclusive package for the Great Chefs Event!

One winner will receive:
  • Two (2) After Party Access tickets (includes general admission to the Great Chefs Event and admission to the After Party at Lo Spiedo immediately following the main event)
  • One (1) night stay in a 1-bedroom suite at the Courtyard by Marriott in The Navy Yard
100% of the raffle proceeds go to two awesome charities – Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Vetri Community Partnership. What have you got to lose?

Click here to enter.

Winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 10th.

Tickets to the 12th Annual Great Chefs Event are Now on Sale

April 13, 2017

On Tuesday, June 20, more than 40 of the best chefs from across the country and around the world will convene in Philadelphia for the 12th Annual Great Chefs Event. The event will benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Vetri Community Partnership. More than 1,200 guests will gather from 6-9 p.m. at the beautiful Urban Outfitters, Inc.’s corporate campus in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard for the culinary event of the year. The party will continue into the night at the equally in-demand After Party at Lo Spiedo for chefs, sponsors and VIP ticketholders. General admission and After Party Access tickets are currently on sale at and

As in years’ past, Marc Vetri has hand-selected the list of participating chefs, calling on friends and respected colleagues from LA, NYC, Chicago, Italy and more. The chefs will donate their time, talent and food, creating delicious samplings indicative of their own personal styles. Participating chefs include both veterans of the event, as well as several noteworthy newcomers. Among the new participating chefs this year are Hugh Acheson of 5 & 10 in Athens, GA; Frank Castronovo & Frank Falcinetti of Frankies Spuntino & Prime Meats in Brooklyn; Derek Dammann of Maison Publique in Montreal, QC; Evan Funke of Felix in LA; Sara Jenkins of Nina June in Rockport, ME; and Ryan Poli of The Catbird Seat in Nashville. Returning chefs include Paul Kahan of Blackbird, avec, The Publican and Big Star in Chicago; Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter in NYC and television personality on The Food Network; and back for the first time since 2013, Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore and star of The Food Network’s Ace of Cakes and Cake Masters.

Several of this year’s participating chefs have also been named finalists in the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards, including Outstanding Restaurateur, Ken Oringer (Toro, NYC) and Outstanding Chef, Outstanding Service, Michael Solomonov (Cook n Solo, Philadelphia). Also present will be regional Best Chefs finalists: Michael Cimarusti (Connie & Ted’s, LA), Andy Ticer + Michael Hudman (Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis) and Greg Vernick (Vernick, Philadelphia).

The country’s best winemakers, brewers and mixologists will also be present, including Joe Campanale (Annona), Summer Wolff (Indie Wineries, NYC), Stacey Swenson (Dante, NYC), Jesse Vida (BlackTail, NYC), Neal Bodenheimer (Cure), Bill Covaleski (Victory Brewing Company), Tom Kehoe (Yard’s Brewing Co.), Tom Peters (Monk’s Café, Russian River Brewing Company), and Carol Stoudt (Stoudt’s Brewing Company).

In addition to the stellar selection of food and drink, guests will have the opportunity to bid on silent and live auction items. Auction items include one-of-kind culinary experiences, such as private dinners with participating chefs, hard-to-get concert tickets, autographed memorabilia and much more.

At the Great Chefs Event After Party at Lo Spiedo, VIP ticketholders and sponsors of the event will have the exclusive opportunity to rub elbows with all of the event’s talented chefs in a laid back setting. After Party guests can also count on additional bites from BBQ master Adam Perry Lang, Adam Arrison (Sodexo) and Philly favorites Michael Solomonov (CookNSolo) and Jose Garces (Garces Group). The event will also feature specialty cocktails and entertainment.

Purchase your tickets here!

Mobile Teaching Kitchen at First Philadelphia

March 27, 2017


Last month, Vetri Community Partnership’s Mobile Teaching Kitchen visited First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School. We taught students how to make sweet potatoes, greens & cabbage and Share Food Program had all of the ingredients for sale at affordable prices.


VCP & Martha’s Table Partner to Bring Vetri Cooking Lab to Washington, D.C. Students

March 22, 2017

We’re so excited to announce that one of our 16 Vetri Cooking Lab sites this semester is being hosted by Martha’s Table in Washington, D.C. – just a few doors down from Pizzeria Vetri!

The Vetri Cooking Lab classes take place every Thursday at Martha’s Table. Each week, around 15 4th-6th graders learn how to make infused water, smoothies, pancakes, and much more.

John Cahill, Program Coordinator/Instructor at Martha’s Table, said: “I like to compare cooking to painting. There is a visceral joy and beauty in creating good food. Students get to experience a real practical sense of accomplishment. The spark I see in the kids at the Vetri Cooking lab, some of whom have been coming to Martha’s Table since they were very young children, is incredible. It’s exciting to see them get excited about learning about and preparing healthy foods. Haley [VCP’s instructor] is great at engaging the students. She brings an energy to the class that really piques their interests – even after a long day at school.”

Click below for more photos and to read more about our budding partnership with Martha’s Table:


Mobile Teaching Kitchen at Clark Park Market

February 15, 2017

In partnership with The Food Trust and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, we’re bringing our cooking demonstrations to the curbside in West Philadelphia!

Join us at the Clark Park farmers’ market from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the upcoming Saturdays:

  • February 18
  • March 18
  • April 15

In addition to the Mobile Teaching Kitchen‘s hands-on cooking demonstration, The Food Trust will be holding their Learn and Earn Market Walks. Starting at 11:30 a.m., participants have the opportunity to learn more about the farmers market and stretching their food budget with Philly Food Bucks. All participants will earn $6 in Philly Food Bucks to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at the end of the walk.

If you’re interested in signing up for the Market Walk, contact Meghan Filoromo at

“100 Amazing Ideas” – Mobile Teaching Kitchen

January 27, 2017

Our Mobile Teaching Kitchen was featured as one of Rodale’s Organic Life‘s “100 Amazing Ideas” in their Feb/March 2017 Innovation Issue!

A extended version of the article was also posted online:

This Food Truck Teaches City Kids How To Cook (And Love!) Their Veggies

Creating a Generation of Educated Food Consumers

January 26, 2017

We love getting feedback from the students and families who participate in our programs.

All of our programs strive to give kids the knowledge they need to be educated food consumers who can make decisions about their own health, so we couldn’t be more excited by this note from a mother of a student who participated in Vetri Cooking Lab at CHOP’s Healthy Weight Clinic:

I am blown away by how much she has taken in. She decided to make popcorn as a healthy snack, with no butter and adding garlic powder, Parmesan cheese or any other seasonings she feels like. This last class was the flat bread and dips, which were all delicious. In the car on the way home, [Name retracted] announced to me that the ranch dressing I have been putting in her lunch with her veggies is not very good for her — that we should make our own.  I asked “How? Do I use sour cream?”  She told me no, just get some Greek yogurt, dill, scallions and maybe some garlic powder and mix it together. She would like me to make this for her lunch snack instead of the kind I buy at the store.

I feel like having these really fun teachers in a kitchen with a bunch of kids has really empowered her to make smart choices on her own. [It’s] not her Mom telling her something is better for her — she is now telling me what is better. It has made making these choices not something she has to do, but something she wants to do. She wants to eat food that she knows what all the ingredients are, not stuff with words she cannot read in it and the stuff she has been making is so much tastier!! The teachers have done a great job!! We really appreciate having this opportunity!

We look forward to helping more kids, not only eat healthier today, but also go on to become healthy and empowered adults who can pass nutritional eating habits on to their own children!

Meet the Vetri Community Partnership Chefs

January 23, 2017

Here at Vetri Community Partnership, our culinary program staff is made up of trained chefs whose culinary backgrounds have prepared them to be simultaneously creative and cost-efficient – two skills necessary in school cafeterias and in developing affordable, healthy cooking programs.

From coming up with and testing all of the recipes used in our programs to supporting the schools and students we serve, we couldn’t do the work we do without the passion and dedication of our culinary team.

Learn more about our culinary team:


Carla Norelli, Director of Culinary Operations

Before I came to VCP, I was a brand-new mom, working for Corporate and realizing that it DID NOT suit me

My favorite vegetable: I love raw veggies, and have been known to just eat crudites for lunch regularly! But I absolutely love spicy, garlicky braised collard greens with hearty splash of apple cider vinegar to finish. Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts roasted dark. And mushrooms sauteed with garlic, butter and Worcestershire!

Tip for cooking with and feeding kids: Get the kids hands-on as much as possible. Will it be messy? Probably. Will they have fun? Definitely. But so will the adults. Kids are more likely to try things – from raw state to cooked – if they are involved in the preparation and if you are as well. Also, trust them with a task, whether it is peeling, grating, or knife-work even if it seems scary to you.

Sarah Cullen, Eatiquette Program Manager

Before I came to VCP, I was a line cook, a stay-at-home mom and a dog walker.

My favorite vegetable: Brussels sprouts!  Oh, and cauliflower.  And kale.  All things cruciferous, I guess.  I pan sear them with oil, salt and pepper until they’re almost burnt.

Tip for cooking with and feeding kids: Listen to kids as intently as you would listen to adults – they have some crazy and awesome ideas.  Regard cooking and eating an act of joy and love instead of a chore and a battlefield.  And model good behavior – be the eater that you want your kid to be.

Amy Falkenstein, Community Outreach Manager

Before I came to VCP, I was a young woman right out of college in the professional restaurant industry seeking out the next best taste, experience, and position on the line.

My favorite vegetable: I love adding greens to everything I cook whether it’s wilting spinach or arugula with some roasted vegetables or braising them down with a fried egg on top.

Tip for cooking with and feeding kids: Wear your patience pants and remind them to as well. It’s easy to try to commit to set boundaries, but going in with an open mind is the best thing you can do!

Shalika Sprowal, Eatiquette Chef Mentor

Before I came to VCP, I was a working mom and a sous chef at a small, farm to table catering company in University City.

My favorite vegetable: My two favorite veggies (because I can’t pick just one) are asparagus and sweet potatoes. With asparagus, I do a very quick blanch and then quickly saute on very high heat with sea salt, pepper, minced garlic and olive oil. With sweet potatoes, I like to bake them until fully soft and beyond, because then they get a little caramelized, and then cut open and top with cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, organic honey and a sprinkle of dark brown sugar.

Tip for cooking with and feeding kids: Making foods that can be presented in a fun fashion works best in my home. For example, “ants on a log” and “funny faces” made out of crudites are big hits with my (very fickle) youngest daughter. Also anything that can be dipped into dressing or hummus always works wonders, because kids just love to dip things. When all else fails, I sneak things in. Blending up veggies and incorporating them into things like spaghetti sauce is a good way of getting a child to like something without them initially knowing it. I’m able to later explain to them how they do actually like carrots, they just didn’t realize it.

Mary Bullock, Eatiquette Chef Mentor

Before I came to VCP, I was much more of a wanderer. I’ve always worked with food and always loved it – but I’ve never felt so full of intention as I have since joining the team here.

My favorite vegetable: Fennel – roasted or raw. I serve it with lots of herbs, lemon and stronger flavors like lamb.

Tip for cooking with and feeding kids: Leading a kitchen full of kids is no different than leading a group of adults. Leave time for questions, never underestimate the power of imagination and always keep some cut resistant gloves handy.

Cristal Williams, Eatiquette Chef Mentor

Before I came to VCP, I was working as a pastry prep cook.

My favorite vegetable: Collards – braised.

Tip for cooking with and feeding kids: Don’t worry – use cut gloves. You can’t go wrong by roasting vegetables with garlic, evoo, salt and pepper. It makes everything taste good.

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