Food for Thought: How Food & Wine chefs are coming together for charity |

Food for Thought: How Food & Wine chefs are coming together for charity

Jeanne McGovern
Special to The Aspen Times
Participants take off from the start line of the Food & Wine 5k charity run on Friday at Rio Grande Park in Aspen.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Circulating through CORE’s Blush Bash on Thursday of Food & Wine weekend, the conversations were a bit more elevated than the usual small talk.

“These are people we know; we are these people,” said one local woman, chatting with a group of like-minded Aspenites. “When a restaurant worker can’t work, he or she doesn’t get paid. That means their family suffers.”

Indeed, CORE’s mission — CORE stands for Children of Restaurant Employees — of ensuring the families of those who toil day in and day out at our local restaurants remain secure through tough times important and empowering.

And it’s just one of several components of the Food & Wine Classic that aim to give back to the greater food community.

The Jacques Pepin Foundation (JPF), which was named a beneficiary of this year’s Classic, recognizes the role of the Classic is to benefit the greater food community.

“We are super proud that the Jaques Pepin Foundation was honored by Food & Wine,” said Rollie Wesen, director of the JPF. “We were just incorporated three years ago and it’s been fast and furious ride, … and this is a pretty significant honor.”

Indeed, the JPF and its mission of teaching people of all walks of life the culinary skill they need to succeed personally and professionally transcend the glitz and glamour of the the Classic weekend.

“This is a lesson in how the universe truly works,” said Michel Nichand, a professional chef, member of the JPF board and founder of Wholesome Wave. “I was so excited to hear that the organizers of Food & Wine this year were open to and embracing our ideas.”

Wholesome Wave has been working for years to transform the way people think about food stamp assistance and how it can bring healthy foods to low-income families.

“Good food who’ll be something that unites us all; food is good magic,” Richland said.

So when the last Champagne toast has been raised and Grand Tasting tent is brought down, the folks behind organizations such CORE, JPF and Wholesome Wave know they have, once again, made a difference — and will continue to do so all year long.