Exciting Chef Talent Coming to Philadelphia for the 12th Annual Great Chefs Event

1,200 foodie philanthropists gather in Philadelphia for the culinary event of the year. Tickets on sale now.


PHILADELPHIA, PA (APRIL 13, 2017) – On Tuesday, June 20, more than 40 of the best chefs from across the country and around the world will convene in Philadelphia for the 12th Annual Great Chefs Event. The event will benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Vetri Community Partnership. More than 1,200 guests will gather from 6-9 p.m. at the beautiful Urban Outfitters, Inc.’s corporate campus in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard for the culinary event of the year. The party will continue into the night at the equally in-demand After Party at Lo Spiedo for chefs, sponsors and VIP ticketholders.  General  admission  and  After  Party  Access  tickets  are  currently  on  sale  at  vetricommunity.org  and AlexsLemonade.org.


As in years’ past, Marc Vetri has hand-selected the list of participating chefs, calling on friends and respected colleagues from LA, NYC, Chicago, Italy and more. The chefs will donate their time, talent and food, creating delicious samplings indicative of their own personal styles. Participating chefs include both veterans of the event, as well as several noteworthy newcomers. Among the new participating chefs this year are Hugh Acheson of 5 & 10 in Athens, GA; Frank Castronovo & Frank Falcinetti of Frankies Spuntino & Prime Meats in Brooklyn; Derek Dammann of Maison Publique in Montreal, QC; Evan Funke of Felix in LA; Sara Jenkins of Nina June in Rockport, ME; and Ryan Poli of The Catbird Seat in Nashville.  Returning  chefs  include  Paul  Kahan  of  Blackbird,  avec,  The  Publican  and  Big  Star  in  Chicago;  Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter in NYC and television personality on The Food Network; and back for the first time since 2013, Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore and star of The Food Network’s Ace of Cakes and Cake Masters.


Several of this year’s participating chefs have also been named finalists in the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards, including Outstanding Restaurateur, Ken Oringer (Toro, NYC) and Outstanding Chef, Outstanding Service, Michael Solomonov (Cook n Solo, Philadelphia). Also present will be regional Best Chefs finalists: Michael Cimarusti (Connie & Ted’s, LA), Andy Ticer + Michael Hudman (Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis) and Greg Vernick (Vernick, Philadelphia).


The  country’s best winemakers, brewers and mixologists will also  be  present,  including  Joe  Campanale  (Annona), Summer Wolff (Indie Wineries, NYC), Stacey Swenson (Dante, NYC), Jesse Vida (BlackTail, NYC), Neal Bodenheimer (Cure), Bill Covaleski (Victory Brewing Company), Tom Kehoe (Yard’s Brewing Co.), Tom Peters (Monk’s Café, Russian River Brewing Company), and Carol Stoudt (Stoudt’s Brewing Company).


In addition to the stellar selection of food and drink, guests will have the opportunity to bid on silent and live auction items. Auction items include one-of-kind culinary experiences, such as private dinners with participating chefs, hard-to- get concert tickets, autographed memorabilia and much more.


At the Great Chefs Event After Party at Lo Spiedo, VIP ticketholders and sponsors of the event will have the exclusive opportunity to rub elbows with all of the event’s talented chefs in a laid back setting. After Party guests can also count on additional bites from BBQ master Adam Perry Lang, Adam Arrison (Sodexo) and Philly favorites Michael Solomonov (CookNSolo) and Jose Garces (Garces Group). The event will also feature specialty cocktails and entertainment.


History of the Great Chefs Event:

Twelve years ago, Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin met Liz and Jay Scott, who were carrying on the work that their amazing daughter Alex had started, to help find cures for all kids with cancer. They were moved by Alex’s story and by the perseverance with which Liz and Jay honored her vision. As many do, they walked away from that conversation asking, “What can we do to help?” Their answer was to host the first Great Chefs Event which brought eight local chefs and 100 guests to The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, raising $50,000 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Vetri and Benjamin, meanwhile, inspired by the impact of their efforts, founded Vetri Community Partnership in 2008 to give back in the area they know most about— healthy food and nutrition for Philadelphia’s youth. The event has been a dual fundraiser for both organizations since 2010 and has inspired culinary fundraisers to fight childhood cancer in NYC, Chicago and LA. Last year, the Great Chefs Event raised nearly $800,000.


Sponsors for the 12th Annual Great Chefs Event include Urban Outfitters, Inc., Advanced Staging, Color Reflections, 452 design, Courtyard by Marriott, Cashman & Associates, Joss Realty + National Real Estate Development, NFI + The Sid & Sandy Brown Foundation, David Stoudt + Martine Lamoreux, Vibrant Development Group, LLC., STARR Restaurants, Permit  Capital  Advisors,  LLC,  CHOP  –  Department  of  Pediatrics,  Love  City  Brewing  Company,  The  Lurie  Family Foundation, Pearl Properties, Melissa & Daniel Tasse, Andrea Biondo, CliftonLarsonAllen, Cozen O'Connor, Kathy + Dan Dugan, Bill + Mary Dankulich, The Ferman Family, Mary Ann + Jes Lawson, Brian Mietz, M&T Bank, Garrett Snider, The Chefs’ Warehouse, Jeff Warden + Heather Chalmers, Bryn Mawr Trust, Law Offices of Craig A. Altman, Chip + Phillis Marshall, Paperless Solutions, Inc., Baldor, DiBruno Bros., Julius Silvert, Samuels & Sons.


Sponsorship opportunities begin at $1,000 and include early access to the event and admission to the After Party. For information on how to become a sponsor, contact Genevieve Lynch at Vetri Community Partnership at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or 215-600-2630.


General Admission tickets are $350.00 per person; After Party Access tickets include general admission and access to the exclusive After Party at Lo Spiedo and cost $525.00. To purchase tickets, visit  vetricommunity.org or AlexsLemonade.org.


About Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $140 million toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure, funding over 690 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, please visit alexslemonade.org.


About Vetri Community Partnership

Vetri Community Partnership was founded in 2008 by Chef Marc Vetri and restaurateur Jeff Benjamin to empower children and families to lead healthy lives through fresh food, hands-on experiences and education. Its signature Eatiquette program brings highly trained chefs to schools to help them prepare fresh, scratch-cooked lunches that are served family style. Students learn the benefits of healthy eating and practice teamwork, communication, etiquette and portion control. Out-of-school-time programs, Vetri Cooking Lab and My Daughter’s Kitchen, reinforce the lunchroom experience and give students the skills to prepare healthy meals at home with their families. Vetri Community Partnership’s programs are active in more than 60 Philadelphia area schools, serving more than 5,900 students. For more information on the Vetri Community Partnership, please visit vetricommunity.org



Vetri Community Partnership

Danielle Zimmerman (267) 281-6356 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Annie Korp (610) 649-3034 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cashman & Associates

Laura Krebs (215) 627-1060 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Shana Saddic (215) 627-1060 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Crowne Plaza Wilmington North’s WOW Program Helps to Earn IHG Service Award and High Guest Ratings


Crowne Plaza Wilmington North (CPWN), which is ranked #1 in TripAdvisor’s customer reviews of hotels in its market, is a recent recipient of the InterContinental Hotel Group’s Year Over Year Improvement Award based on its consistently rising “Guest Love” scores.  The hotel has also boosted its internal guest satisfaction scores by almost 20% over the past year. Both achievements are attributable to the hotel’s unique WOW Program.

“The WOW Program has been the secret weapon behind our ability to create memorable stays for our guests,” says Crowne Plaza Wilmington North Director of Sales Julie Shaw.  “The WOWs the we devise are based on our team’s ability to learn and understand our guests’ unique needs, and then provide them with an extra special something that puts huge smiles on their faces.”

CPWN’s WOW Program began in October ‘16 as a suggestion from Real Hospitality Group, which manages the property.  Staffers initially shared a variety of bonuses with guests, including room upgrades and coupons for drinks and breakfast.  When they saw the enthusiastic responses that these perks made possible, the entire team decided to get more creative – and more personal – with their WOWs.

WOWs that staffers at CPWN have presented to guests include:

  • A dinner and a heart-shaped bamboo plant for guests who donated unique antique toys in their original packaging to the hotel’s Toys for Tots drive
  • At 4:00 AM, cleaning the snow off of a car, and warming the car up, for a guest from the South who wasn’t used to winter weather
  • Wrapping of a holiday gift by a hotel sales exec with excellent wrapping skills for a guest who was late for a black tie company event
  • Coloring books, crayons, iced tea, a movie pass, and popcorn for an energetic youngster who had driven 11 hours with his very tired mom from Georgia (mom was extremely grateful)


A recent WOW was shared with the family of Philip McCauley, a guest from Wayland, MA.

Mr. McCauley’s group was visiting the Wilmington area – and booked to stay at the Crowne Plaza – to attend the funeral of a family member.  The morning that he and his wife were planning to fly in, their plans were delayed:  their daughter, who lives in New Jersey, was going into labor.  The McCauleys diverted their route to be present at the birth of their grandchild.

Upon their arrival at the CPWN a day later, the McCauleys were presented with a baby gift from the hotel’s management, as well as a sympathy card that was signed by the staff.

“During our family’s stay at the Crowne Plaza the entire staff was not only efficient but also kind and attentive to all of our needs,” says Mr. McCauley.  “To us, this kind of exemplary professionalism is unheard of in the [hotel] industry.”

“I’ve been a Director of Sales at other Wilmington hotel properties, but the level of customer service that the Crowne Plaza Wilmington North team provides, thanks to the WOW Program, is unsurpassed in the market,” says Shaw.  “Whether our guests are here on vacation or are doing business in downtown Wilmington, Chester, Marcus Hook, or Philadelphia, they’re all are surprised by our random acts of kindness, and our entire staff loves making these wonderful WOW moments happen.”


About Real Hospitality Group

Real Hospitality Group (RHG) is headquartered in Ocean City, MD with a regional office in Midtown Manhattan. The Real Hospitality Group portfolio includes 76 hotel properties with an inventory of more than 9,659 rooms in gateway cities that include New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Boston, and locations in Syracuse, Newark, Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, DE, Montauk, New York, and Ocean City, MD. The company is a recognized service provider for Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Hyatt, Wyndham, IHG, and the Choice Hotels brands, as well as established diverse collection of independent and lifestyle hotels.  RHG focuses on total service property management, revenue performance, guest experience and business development for investors in the lodging sector.


About Crowne Plaza Wilmington North

Located near the Philadelphia International Airport, Crowne Plaza Wilmington North is in Claymont, DE, just north of Wilmington. Our hotel, which is ranked #1 in TripAdvisor’s customer reviews of hotels in the market, is in a perfect location for business and leisure travelers with the amenities to please both. With over 190 comfortable rooms and suits, a top rated restaurant, complimentary internet access, a sparkling outdoor pool, and a health and fitness center, you’ll find whole new ways to relax and recharge when you stay at our hotel.




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HOPEWELL, NJ (3/20/2017) - Hopewell’s historic theater will be re-launched in 2017 with an expanded vision by the production team of Sara Scully, former founder and Executive Director of Lambertville, NJ’s indie-cinema ACME Screening Room and business partner Mitchel Skolnick. Scully will direct the theater and plans to present a robust and wide range of programming there, from live music by local and regional singer-songwriters, to movies, talks, guest artist Q&A’s, and some performances.


The dine-in theater will uniquely feature a hybrid of cabaret-style banquette seating with tables and traditional fixed theater seating, to support patrons comfortably enjoying a meal or a snack during the show.  There will be a full concession stand with traditional theater food like popcorn and candy, along with grab-and-go small plate options.  On a regular schedule the theater will also host full-dinner “Supper Club” nights before a show served by a local caterer.  The theater also will be available to rent to performing artists or for events and meetings.


“Our aim is that this theater will serve a wide range of artists and community members and be a resource and intimate, inviting sanctuary to enjoy the arts.  With state-of-the-art sound and lighting, comfortable and inviting seating options, and diverse slate of programming, the theater will be a welcoming place to have a unique cultural experience, to practice or perform.”


The theater’s expanded vision includes a carefully-curated programming schedule that will showcase independent films, some followed by Director Q&A or paired with a reading or concert, and live music on a weekly basis performed by local and regional singer-songwriters.  There will also be TED-style talks and a variety of discussions from books to visual arts to self-improvement and wellness, all with the leading goal of creating community through inspiring and stimulating idea exchange.  Audiences will have access to talent through the intimate productions offered.  Artists will have access to the theater which will be rented during the day to encourage adult artists, musicians, filmmakers and artist networks who need a home to either practice, show work, or come together to create.


The theater interior design will be a mix of urban-style meets classic country with a sense of casual elegance.  Minor cosmetic renovations will take place over the next few months.  


Official programming scheduling and opening date are to be announced in spring of 2017.


Hopewell Theater is located at 5 South Greenwood Avenue in Hopewell, New Jersey and online at www.HopewellTheater.com. The theater building is owned and was recently renovated by Hopewell Playhouse, LLC: Jon McConaughy, Liza Moorehouse and Mitchel Skolnick.



Sara Scully, ScullyOne Productions has been a Producer and Social Entrepreneur for nearly twenty years, creating comprehensive multi-media projects for clients that build community, increase awareness, and encourage creative participation. ScullyOne founded the ACME Screening Room, an independent cinema space nearly a decade ago, and developed a unique and intimate program that brought the world of indie film to life with screenings and guest artist Q&A’s and exhibitions.  ScullyOne has also provided business and communications planning for arts and community organizations.  Prior to founding ACME Screening Room, Sara Scully worked in documentary film production and children’s educational programming for clients like Scholastic Publishing, WNET and HBO.



Mitchel Skolnick has been partner of Blue Stone Farms since 1997 and a supporter of arts and music.



Come as you are. Where local meets world stage and creativity, ideas and music are as accessible as the surroundings.  Hopewell Theater offers a range of inviting cultural experiences, from independent film and live-music to guest speakers and post-show artist Q&A’s.  Patrons can dine-in at one of our special Supper Club nights, or just come for the show.  With flexible seating options, from intimate banquette tables seating to traditional fixed theater seats, there’s a place where everyone can feel comfortable.   


A landing spot, a launch pad, an incubator, Hopewell Theater is also where artists can play, practice, perform or show their passion project on the big screen and for co-producers who want to partner with the theater to develop work.  The theater is available to rent, at both hourly and day-rates.


We also source our Supper Club and grab-n-go concession menu locally, wherever possible, and aim to enhance the Hopewell Borough commerce and community by partnering with local businesses and restaurants.



*Interviews and high-resolution images are available upon request.