Back in 2015, Jerry Trice and 200 other chefs from across the country embarked on a three-day, 300-mile bike ride from New York City to Washington, D.C. benefitting No Kid Hungry—an initiative of national hunger-prevention organization Share Our Strength.
“We stopped at an elementary school in Baltimore and I got to meet some really brave kindergarteners,” recalls Trice, co-owner and executive chef of Gunther & Co in Brewers Hill. “When you ask a kindergartener what they’re doing over the summer and the answer is that they’re babysitting, that puts everything into perspective.”
Trice set out on the journey as a participant of Chefs Cycle, an annual No Kid Hungry event that aims to raise $2 million for children throughout the nation without adequate access to nutritious meals.
Though Trice had to skip the ride last year while putting the finishing touches on Gunther & Co., the chef is enthusiastic about getting back on his bike this spring. This time around, he and his fiancée, co-owner Nancy Hart Mola, will be pedaling together on a West Coast run that begins on May 16 in Santa Rosa, California and loops around Sonoma and Napa Valley.
In advance of the trek, the owners are bringing together a group of the city’s top toques to host a fundraiser at their restaurant on Tuesday, April 4 from 6-9 p.m. The evening will feature special dishes with specific cocktail pairings from five visiting chefs, as well as raffle prizes including tickets to upcoming tasting dinners, a signature Chefs Cycle bike, an espresso machine, and baskets from local vendors.
Plates to look forward to include wood-roasted chicken curry from chef Neill Howell of The Corner Pantry, poached salmon and nicoise olive tapenade from Ben Lefenfeld of La Cuchara, braised beef cheek casserole from Zack Mills of Wit & Wisdom, saffron arancini from Brian Lavin of Gnocco, and mortadella meatballs with Sunday gravy from Scott Hines of B&O American Brasserie. Trice plans to work with scallops, oysters, and other produce donated to the restaurant for the event.
Featured cocktail pairings will range from a classic Pimm’s Cup to a Carrot Mule fusing carrot-infused vodka, cardamom syrup, lemon juice, and fever tree ginger beer.
"We thought our space really lent itself to having a fun, casual, progressive tasting dinner," Mola says. "We're really serious about raising money for this cause."
All proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated directly to No Kid Hungry, a cause that has been championed by a number of Charm City chefs over the years. Since it launched in Maryland in 2008, the initiative has provided breakfast, after-school, and summertime meals to more than 76,000 students in need.
“Being in the restaurant business, we don’t want to take anything for granted,” Mola says. “We have people who come out to spend good money for good food. But there are others who don’t have food. There’s a disconnect there in our society, and to be responsible restaurateurs and chefs it’s really important for us to do our part.”