Christina and Jeremy with some of the Common Threads kids.
I apologize that this post took me some time to get up, but here it is! A couple of months ago JeremyCooks was introduced to a very unique and worthy cause. Chef Art Smith who is known as Oprah Winfrey’s former chef, co-founded this great organization. He is also the owner of his own restaurants, (“Table fifty two” in Chicago and “Art and Soul” in Washington DC), a cookbook author, and a James Beard Award recipient. Common Threads holds weekly classes at various kitchen facilities across the country teaching low-income kids (ages 8-12) to eat better and healthier by cooking wholesome, affordable and diverse cuisine.
For the first time outside of Chicago, Common Threads held it’s World Festival Fundraiser in Miami on November 1st. The Miami Common Threads chapter was started by non-other than celebrity Chef Michelle Bernstein! I, along with 15 other incredible Chefs got the opportunity to take part in this grand event! I was told that I would be representing JeremyCooks but would be preparing and serving Art Smith’s Tenderloin Salad. This was a big undertaking as all the chefs that would be coming already have restaurants and access to kitchen equipment to make 350 tastings. I however have years ahead of me before opening my own restaurant and have limited access to state of the art equipment. Fortunately, we were offered to work in the fantastic kitchens at Florida International University’s (FIU) School of Hospitality Management in North Miami Beach. Christina Brown (friend and fellow student from WBHS) assisted me in the kitchen and at the festival. At FIU we were joined by Jamaloan Ramero, who is a graduate of FIU and knows her way around the school’s kitchens. Preparing about 30 lbs of tenderloin was not an easy task but in the end our salad was incredible.
Christina and Jeremy preparing for the big event
|Jamaloan, grilling the fennel and onions|
When we arrived at the Palms Hotel (where the event was being held) we were escorted to our booth which was conveniently located at the very front of the festival, right next to Michelle Bernstein’s booth! The event started around 7:30PM and began serving our salad which consisted of grilled fennel, red onion, asparagus, lemon, chives, cherry tomato’s and olive oil with a slice of tenderloin and topped with arugula and crumbled feta cheese.
Last minute preparations before the guests arrived
The most rewarding part of the night was being able to meet some of the kids from Common Threads! They were so happy to be there and tried just about everything the Chefs had to offer (talk about good eaters). Christina and I also got the chance to meet Chef Smith who said the salad was excellent (what an honor!).
Christina, Jeremy and Chef Art Smith
The Common Thread's kids, staff and Chefs Bernstein and Smith
Christina, Jeremy and Chef Michelle Bernstein
Jeremy and Mimi Chacin
(Miami Program Manager for Common Threads)
The event could not have gone better and I can’t wait to get more involved with Common Threads classes. I would like to thank Christina Brown and Jamlaon Ramero for being such wonderful help. Also, our appreciation goes out to Cheney Brothers and Whole Foods for donating all the ingredients I needed to prepare my dish. Lastly I would like to thank Common Threads, Chef Art Smith and all the great people who keep this organization running for letting me take part in a spectacular event. In the end the fundraiser earned a lot of money and raised more awareness for this great cause. Log on to commonthreads.org to see how you could get involved with your local chapter.
Keep on Cooking!!