Top chefs cooking up help for charity

June 1, 2012 2:47:57 PM PDT
More than 50 of the world's top chefs are converging on Philadelphia this month to raise money for charity.

I had a chance to dish with the organizer, Marc Vetri, who recently opened his fourth restaurant here in the city.

Alla Spina is a "gastropub" on North Broad Street that serves up beer and bar snacks in a gourmet kind of way.

"We went after the gastro style menus but we went with the Italy style theme," says Marc Vetri.

Translated, "Alla Spina" means "from the beer tap" and the copper spouts were shipped straight from the homeland.

"We have 20 beers on tap, and then we have another 50 beers by the bottle," Vetri says.

The eatery celebrates his love of Italian gastropubs.

"When we visited, they all had this real edgy look to them and writings and artwork on the wall," he says.

From the neon graffiti splattering the wall, to the spray painted pig that guards the bar, Vetri refurbished an old auto body and serves up bar snacks with an Italian twist.

"It's just really simple food but with a little bit of an edge to it," he says, like the mortadella hot dog stuffed with chunks of Sicilian pistachio and stacked with spicy pickles and red cabbage.

On Tuesday, June 12th, Vetri is bringing his top shelf foodie colleagues together. Jose Garces, Tom Colicchio, Masaharu Morimoto and more than fifty other top chefs and mixologists will gather for the 7th annual Great Chef's Event at the Navy Yard.

The proceeds benefit Alex's Lemonade Stand - which raises money to fight childhood cancer.

"We are on track to raise one million dollars this year," Vetri says.