Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fighting Hunger at the Food Network NYC Wine and Food Festival

From the desk of Tania Lopez (Creator of Coqui the Chef)

I volunteered for Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival. It ran from October 17-20, 2013. It is the only Festival in New York to bring together both legendary culinary icons from around the globe and America’s most beloved television chefs.

New York City Festival benefits the hunger-relief programs of Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign. Having raised over $6 million to date, 100% of the net proceeds from the Festival go directly to these community-based organizations. Eat. Drink. End Hunger.

I had such a great time volunteering on Oct 19 for the Grand Tasting book signing event for celebrity/author chefs. Several volunteers had different jobs, mine was to take photos of the celebrity chefs with their fans.  I loved it!! I was the only one authorized to take the photos so a lot of fans handed me their smart phone and cameras. It was such an amazing experience to be so close to Rachel Ray (she is so lovely), Martha Stewart (has strange personality), Masaharu Marimoto (always said "sushi" with every photo taken), and Rick Bayless (has a great smile).  It was nice to see how these chef celebrities treat their fans. Unfortunately, I was not able to take photos with my smart phone because part of the volunteer rules are that we cannot take photos with celebrities during our shift but I took a memorable one. 

Did you  know?
Volunteering is a great way to make friends, contacts, increases your social and relationship skills, providing you with career experience and valuable job skills.  Most of all it is good for your mental and physical health.  Volunteering increases your self-confidence and helps you stay physically healthy.

What I learned from volunteering?
Two years ago, I suffered from depression.  I refused to take medication because I knew in my heart there was a way out of it.  That is when I started my community work and volunteering.  Through volunteering, I learned that if you just give a little of yourself, you will get a lot in return.  It's simple and worth it!

My most memorable picture
Coqui the Chef is always looking for volunteers to help with the kitchen and with junior chefs. If you are interested and want to make your resume look AWESOME.
Fill out this long yet simple form

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