Do you need to take care of yourself first so you can take care of others? What are the physical and mental benefits of doing something athletic for a cause? In another special edition of Add Passion and Stir taped at Chefs Cycle, hear from chef Jeff Mahin (Stella Barra Pizzeria, Do-Rite Donuts, M Street Kitchen) and pro athlete-turned-chef Lentine Alexis (Skratch Labs) on what cycling for the cause of hungry kids means to them. The two chefs join Share Our Strength founder and CEO Billy Shore and Share Our Strength Associate Director of Chefs Cycle Adele Nelson on Day 2 of Chefs Cycle, a 300-mile fundraising bike ride in Santa Rosa, CA for No Kid Hungry.
Chefs of all cycling levels – 230 this year, up from just 6 in 2014 – care deeply about feeding hungry kids. Mahin feels that helping is contagious, especially in the culinary world. “We all as chefs understand how powerful food is, and then when you combine that with being and athlete and understanding hunger, then [Chefs Cycle] is real close to home.” Former professional triathlete Alexis finds it very natural. “Our [culinary] community and our colleagues feel that it’s our responsibility to … safeguard the wellbeing of those in our communities with food as our tool,” she says. “When you think about how many American kids are hungry… I can’t imagine a more worthy cause to ride my bicycle for.”
For many participants, the camaraderie of this event make those 300 hilly miles even more worthwhile. Mahin finds it very powerful to ride with a group of people who care about the cause and each other. “The generosity and camaraderie of this ride, with people helping each other… it’s a beautiful thing.” He also praises Shore and the work of No Kid Hungry: “What you’re doing for my industry and for me and my friends, is you’re changing our lives. You’re making these culinary professionals care about each other.” Cycling was key to Mahin’s personal transformation from hard-living daredevil to dedicated health nut. Both guests feel we have only scratched the surface of the potential for chefs cycling together as an inspirational, community-building fundraiser to help feed more hungry kids in America.
Listen to their conversation about health, friendship and uniting to end child hunger.
Resources and Mentions:
- No Kid Hungry: Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.
- Chefs Cycle: Chefs Cycle is a fundraising endurance event featuring award-winning chefs and members of the culinary community fighting hunger outside the kitchen. For the past three years, Chefs Cycle has engaged culinary talents who want to push their limits by completing a three day, 300 mile ride while raising funds and awareness in support of No Kid Hungry. The spring 2017 ride took place May 16-18 in Santa Rosa, CA, where 240 chefs rode and raised $2M, which translates into 20 million meals for kids facing hunger in America.
- Jeff Mahin: Jeff Mahin is a chef/partner at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and the creative force behind Stella Barra Pizzeria (Santa Monica, Hollywood, Chicago, Bethesda), Summer House Santa Monica (Chicago, Bethesda), Do-Rite Donuts (Chicago), and M Street Kitchen (Santa Monica). At just 33 years old, Mahin has accumulated several industry accolades including Zagat “30 under 30” list in 2012, Forbes “30-under-30” list of hospitality industry up-and-comers in 2012 and Restaurant Hospitality’s “13 to watch in 2013.” He was also a contestant on the first season of ABC’s “The Taste.”
- Lentine Alexis: Boulder-based pastry chef, recipe developer, writer, content manager and creator at Skratch Labs, and former pro triathlete.
- Skratch Labs: At Skratch Labs our mission is to provide people with the inspiration, life skills, and products to take better care of themselves and their families. It’s a mission based on the understanding that taking care of oneself and those we love isn’t always easy. But that’s okay, because the way we see it, there’s nothing more satisfying and grounding than putting in the time, care, and effort to solve life’s challenges.