Video: Aaron Sanchez gives recipes at second harvest food bank
October 6, 2010 · Print This Article
LORAIN – Fine food, good times and a Puerto Rican celebrity chef were on the menu Sunday night as Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio hosted its Generous Helpings fundraiser at its headquarters.
The event raised about $40,000 to help Second Harvest supply food to 110 agencies in four counties, said executive director Juliana Chase-Morefield. More than 500 people attended the event, each paying $50 a ticket.
And the organization needed this. According to a study done by the group, Chase-Morefield said, one out of six people in Lorain, Erie, Huron and Crawford counties have recieved food from one of the agencies affiliated with Second Harvest, and according to the latest Census results, 1 in 3 people in Lorian live in poverty.
“The need is higher than it’s ever been in the 28 years here,” she said.
Chef Aaron Sanchez – restaurant owner and star of Food Network shows “Chefs vs. City,” “Chopped” and “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” – drew not only a sellout crowd, Chase-Morefield said, but more local chefs than ever.
Sanchez said he was glad to be at the event.
“For me, I have to give back,” he said. “It’s a way to show my appreciation for all I have.”
Sanchez attended with his wife, Ife, who is a singer and has just released her first album, “In Love Story,” on iTunes. The couple is expecting their first child in March.
Sanchez also did a cooking demonstration (video available tomarrow) for the crowd. He made a salsa verde, then made a Brazilian-style sauteed seafood dish with cashews, jalapenos and coconut milk.
Seventeen-year-old Ayla Tibbetts of Lorain, who was there as a guest of El Centro’s Jared Perez, was excited to meet Sanchez and get her picture taken with him.
“He was so nice,” she said.
The local chefs kicked it up a notch to impress the guests.
“We all feel the challenge,” said chef John Cafarelli of Stubby’s Pub and Grub in Elyria. “We really want to step up because this is such a great cause. This is our way of supporting it.” Cafarelli went seasonal with what he called Cabbage Patch Ravioli – handmade ravioli filled with roasted carrot and fontina cheese over a bed of bacon-sauteed napa cabbage and topped with a mushroom and rabbit ragout.
“It’s fall, so I went with what you’d find if you went out in the garden now,” he said. “And I love cooking rabbit.”
Lee Jones, the farmer at the Chef’s Garden in Huron which also runs the Culinary Vegetable Institute, said seasonal was the way to go.
“We believe in seasonal, indigenous food,” he said. “I’m offended to see asparagus in October.”
The Culinary Vegetable Institute chefs brought out the seasonal with a dish of fresh local corn johnnycakes topped with braised greens, pulled pork in a sauce made with the last of this season’s tomatoes, homemade sour cream and garnished with fresh herbs.
“The tomatoes, the corn, the greens, this is what you’re going to see in late summer going into early fall,” Jones said.
Even Culinary Vegetable Institute’s dessert was seasonal, a fresh carrot cake iced with cream cheese icing and shaped like a ghost. Both Chase-Morefield and Tibbetts listed it as their favorite dish of the night.
Warm and hearty dishes could be found throughout the event. Rotuno’s brought its smoky barbecue, including its beef brisket. Marconi’s in Huron served pasta and homemade sweet sausage in a red pepper sauce with smoked mozzarella and honey. Zinc Brasserie in Sandusky offered braised lamb shoulder in a rich sauce over creamy truffled polenta.
(Visit the Web site all this week for video and more information on the event)
Contact Melissa Hebert at 329-7129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.