Mention the name Marc Vetri to someone in Philadelphia, chances are they’ll have a food story to share. Whether they regale you with a play-by-play of the Mother’s Day brunch they ate at Alla Spina, details on the thin crust from Pizzeria Vetri or a dreamy reminiscence of a multi-course feast at the chef’s namesake restaurant, one thing is certain: A Vetri meal is memorable. No surprise, then, that Vetri throws one of the largest, most extravagant food events each summer, The Great Chefs Event.
Forty chefs will gather at the Navy Yard June 10 to cater the event’s ninth installment, raising money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand and the Vetri Foundation for Children.
“[Partner and restaurateur Jeff Benjamin and I] saw all these signs up for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand,” says Vetri. “I called them and got to talking. We had a little event for them at Vetri. The next year it got a little bigger.”
And from there, much bigger. At the same time, Vetri was setting up his foundation, which focuses on healthy meals in schools. “We thought, ‘well, we really know food. What can we do to make a difference?’” he says.
To raise big bucks (we’re talking $1 million or so), Vetri will pull out all the stops for Great Chefs. Iron Chefs Jose Garces and Michael Symon, “Top Chef” winner Kevin Sbraga, Michael Anthony of New York’s Gramercy Tavern and celebrity chef Tom Colicchio are among the participants. There will also be an auction with seriously high-end items, like a trip to Belgium with Tom Peters of Monk’s as your guide. And after the party ends, of course, there’s an after-party at Alla Spina for a limited number of VIP ticketholders. Sounds like high society, but it’s all in the name of charity — and delicious food.
VIP ticketholders better pace themselves at the Navy Yard, because there’s still so much more to come at the after-party at Alla Spina (1410 Mt. Vernon St.). The entire block will be shut down to allow chefs and guests to spill out into the street and enjoy music and — of course — more food, from Vetri restaurants, Nomad Pizza and barbecue king Adam Perry Lang. The Roots’ Questlove will DJ. This is a party for the cool kids.
The Great Chefs Event
June 10, 6-9 p.m.
Urban Outfitters campus at the Navy Yard
5000 S. Broad St., Building 543