Philly is a city full of chefs, and most know how to wow patrons with their meals. It’s even more delicious, however, when they cook up something special for a cause. Just ask Yehuda Sichel of Huda Philadelphia and Frank E. Olivieri of Pat’s King of Steaks.
Next month, these two well-known local chefs are teaming up for a one-of-a-kind virtual cooking experience called “Nourishing Community” to assist the Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JFCS) of Greater Philadelphia in raising funds to support its food relief programs.
Taking place on Feb. 1 at 6 p.m., the 60-minute event will feature Sichel sharing his popular matzo ball soup and brisket recipes while he and Olivieri share behind-the-scenes stories of the Philly restaurant world and how sharing food has enriched their lives.
For example, Sichel has connections to Jewish faith and values through his own culinary journey. According to a news release, Sichel was the executive chef at Abe Fisher for 10 years, where his dishes were inspired by the journey of the Jewish people from their ancestral homeland to the diaspora. Under Sichel’s leadership, Abe Fisher earned a 3-Bell “Excellent” review from the Inquirer and was named “Best New Restaurant” in the January 2015 issue of Travel + Leisure, and earned a semi-finalist nomination in the 2015 James Beard Award’s “Best New Restaurant” category.
Olivieri, owner of Pat’s King of Steaks, has his own strong connection to the meaning of family as he continues to helm the business that his great uncle Pat started over 90 years ago. On top of Pat’s, Olivieri is also the founder of the Spread the Whiz Foundation which provides nutritional education for children and adults to promote better eating habits.
Individuals with a passion for cooking are encouraged to participate in Nourishing Community event.“Entrée” to the series requires a contribution to JFCS’s Mitzvah Menu in support of hunger relief.
“Food insecurity across the region remains at an all-time high,” said Pia Eisenberg, senior vice president for community engagement at JFCS Greater Philadelphia, in a statement. “We are grateful to Yehuda and Frank for their commitment to helping us raise much-needed dollars in this engaging way for our food relief efforts in support of the most vulnerable in our region.”
What JFCS aims to do as its mission is to increase access to healthy food among food-insecure families and households in the Philadelphia region. The organization also offers a grocery delivery program offering fresh produce, eggs and milk, which are not often widely available in pantries and other food delivery resources as part of their work.
JFCS’s website also states that they want to strengthen families and individuals across generations and cultures to achieve stability, independence and community in a few different ways. What helped them achieve success in their eyes was “adhering to the fundamental principles of living Jewish values.” That includes: Serving all people including the most vulnerable in the community; acting with respect and compassion; embracing diversity and inclusion; being transparent and accountable; and emphasizing excellence to be a leading and relevant family services provider.
For more information on the event with Huda Philadelphia and Pat’s King of Steaks, visit calendarwiz.com. For information on the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia, visit jfcsphilly.org.