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Talking food and Plates with Purpose with some of Connecticut’s top chefs


Filling in the Blanks’s annual Plates with Purpose treats guests to a culinary adventure in the service of helping local families impacted by food insecurity. We’re fast on our way to serving 7,000 kids each week through our weekend meals and new school based pantries, and events such as Plates with Purpose provide critical support to sustain and grow these programs.


This year’s guests will be wined and dined by elite chefs including Chefs Luke Venner of Elm, Jeff Taibe of Taproot, Julio Genao of Prime, Hannah Gorman of Revel with DinnerThyme, and Peter Mamadjanian of Abigail Kirsch!


We asked these epicurean experts to let us in on what inspires and motivates their work. Keep reading for their tastiest morsels.


What inspires you about working with food?


“Bringing my family together for them to enjoy quality time spent over a meal. With every season comes inspiration with the bounty of produce and products available for us to create dishes to share.”

- Chef Julio Genao, Prime


“Mostly the seasonality of what we do—getting excited about those ingredients that come and go. I always try to look at them a little differently each year and not always prepare them the exact same way out of habit.”

- Chef Luke Venner, Elm


When you have time to cook for loved ones, what are you making?


“I tend to cook a lot of Caribbean food. Oxtail, rice and peas, jerk, etc. My son is from Turks and Caicos and we love the flavors of the Caribbean. It also holds well for him to cook through the week.

- Chef Jeff Taibe, Taproot

Whenever I carve out some time to prepare a homemade meal for my cherished loved ones, my go-to culinary delight is none other than an elegantly simple yet utterly delicious roasted chicken.”

- Chef Peter Mamadjanian, Abigail Kirsch


What do you like to cook for kids?

“Most of our fondest memories when it comes to food go back to when we were children. I love to incorporate natural ingredients like honey, fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts into their meals in order to promote healthy wholesome eating.”

- Chef Julio Genao, Prime


How are you feeling going into this year’s Plates with Purpose?


“I’ve heard about it in the industry and followed a few chefs doing events in the past. Being asked to cook for this amazing cause is a great honor.”

- Chef Jeff Taibe, Taproot


“I’m looking forward to bringing good food, smiles and fundraising!”

- Chef Luke Venner, Elm


Unable to join us at this year’s event? Sign up today so you never miss an invite or other opportunities to support our work.



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