Washington, DC (Vocus) July 1, 2008 -
Â On Tuesday, June 24, more than 70 top chefs and culinary professionals from the Washington, D.C. area and the Mid-Atlantic region traded in their toques for motorcycle helmets for the fifth annual Share Our Strength's Chefs on Bikes presented by Fortessa, Inc. This 100-mile-plus ride raised more than $40,000 for Share Our Strength, an organization working to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry.
"With a backdrop of a tough economy Â increasing gas, food and utility prices Â Chefs on Bikes reminds us that it only takes a few motivated people with a great idea to make a difference in this world," said Debbie Shore, co-founder of Share Our Strength. "What began five years ago as a handful a chefs enjoying motorcycle rides to the Virginia countryside is now a favorite fundraising event, helping us to end childhood hunger in America."
After a hearty breakfast at Bistro Bis in Washington, D.C., the riders stopped for a quick water break and visit to the Forteesa, Inc. store in Sterling, Virginia. The next stop was at ClydeÂs Willow Creek Farm in Broadlands, VA for lunch. Following lunch, riders enjoyed the most scenic part of the ride into Clarke County, taking in picturesque views of farms and riding over the Shenandoah River. Riders visited the historic Burwell-Morgan Mill in Millwood where they had a chance to grind corn the same way as it was done back in the 1830s. The riders ended their tour at Villa La Campagnette in Boyce, VA for a post-ride party featuring a BBQ contest, music, prizes, games and awards including "Top Fundraiser", "Best Bike" and "Best Looking Biker."
BBQ contestants included Chefs Chris Clime of Acadiana, Washington, D.C.; Chris Willis of POSH Restaurant and Supper Club, Washington, D.C.; Vaughn Skaggs of Market Salamander, Middleburg, VA and Jamie Stachowski of the new Thirsty BernieÂs in Arlington, VA. Each cooked a 6 lb. Â 8lb. organic, humanely-raised pork shoulder. Chef Chris Willis of POSH Restaurant took home first prize for his Cedar Smoked Sweet Jamaican Jerk Pulled Pork. The judges included Foodservice Monthly Editor Michael Birchenall, food writer Eve Zibart and Boston Chef Andy Husbands.
A long-time Chefs on Bikes participant, Executive Chef of Vidalia R.J. Cooper, won the top fundraising prize, raising more than $3,000. Each Chefs on Bikes rider had to raise a minimum of $500 or pay $175 to ride.
Barry Angradi of seafood distributor J.J. McDonnell took home the prize for Best Bike, Cruiser Category while fellow colleague Steve Vilnit won Best Bike in the Sportbike category. Solely based on his good looks, Jose Fernandez from The Ritz-Carlton New York from took home the prize for "Best Looking Biker."
Through events like Chefs on Bikes, Share Our Strength raises money to execute its national strategy to end childhood hunger, which increases access to public and private programs that provide food to children and their families; strengthens community resources that connect children to healthy food; and informs families about available assistance and how to get the most from limited resources.
"We are thrilled to see the continued commitment from the area's top chefs and foodservice professionals," said Scott Hamberger, CEO of Fortessa, Inc. "In these times of great need itÂs important that we all do our part to help Share Our Strength end childhood hunger in America."
Chefs on Bikes 2008 was presented by Fortessa, Inc. and hosted by the following: Bistro Bis, ClydeÂs Willow Creek Farm and Villa La Campagnette. Other sponsors include: Kruko, Uptown Bakers, Peacock CafÃ© and Peacock Grand Cafe, Market Salamander, LR. Paris, Garnier-Thiebaut, Henckels, Foodservice Monthly and The Georgetowner.
About Share Our Strength:
Share Our StrengthÂ® is a national organization working to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry. We weave together a net of community groups, activists and food programs to catch children at risk of hunger, and surround them with nutritious food where they live, learn and play. We work with the culinary industry to create engaging, pioneering programs like Share Our Strength's Taste of the NationÂ®, Share Our Strength's Great American Bake SaleÂ®, Share Our Strength's A Tasteful PursuitÂ®, Share Our Strength's Great American Dine OutÂ, Share Our Strength's Chefs on BikesÂ and Share Our Strength's Operation FrontlineÂ®. For more information, please visit http://www.strength.org.
NOTE TO MEDIA: BBQ contest recipes, interviews and photos are available upon request.