Brand Trend: Celebrity Chef Foundations

With wealth and celebrity comes responsibility.

Many actors, sports stars, and business tycoons spend time figuring out how to do good with the wealth and power they have amassed. Some of them set up charitable foundations that can funnel their wealth and prestige towards things they care about – and strengthen their brand with an underlying message of helping the community.

What about chefs?

Chefs support many charities, from Share Our Strength to First Lego League, but increasingly super chefs are turning their attention to their own foundations, which can use their celebrity to raise money and focus media attention on issues from hunger to obesity to culinary education – and back to the very charitable foundations they had supported as individuals – while strengthening their brands. These foundations appeal to other chefs, musicians, actors, and sports stars who bring their fame and hard work to help good causes.

Here is list of charities founded by living chefs:

Jose Andres founded World Central Kitchen He has joined the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves as “Culinary Ambassador,” helping to raise awareness of toxic smoke from traditional cooking stoves that causes nearly two million deaths each year.

Cathal Armstrong founded Chefs and Parents. The Foundation partners with the local schools in Washington DC area to improve school lunches and educate children about healthy eating.

Lidia Bastianich founded Lidia Matticchio Bastianich Foundation.

Mario Batali founded The Mario Batali Foundation.The Foundation supports
Children’s disease research, hunger relief and literacy guarantee.

John Besh founded The John Besh Foundation. He established the Chefs Move scholarship for a student at the French Culinary Institute.

Cat Cora founded Chefs for Humanity. A Celebrity Chef Online Auction raised over $10,000.

Vikas Khanna founded Sakiv. He is supporting Mid-Day Meal Programs in India through the sales of his films “Holy Kitchens”.

Emeril Lagasse founded the Emeril Lagasse Foundation. His foundation donated $100,000 to Unified Summer Grants Collaborative to support 34 local summer camps.

Jamie Oliver founded The Jamie Oliver Foundation and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation in the US. His Big Rig Teaching Kitchen is a mobile kitchen bringing his message of healthy food to different locations.

Wolfgang Puck and his former wife Barbara Lazaroff founded the Wolfgang Puck & Barbara Lazaroff Charitable Foundation. This was probably one of the first chef foundations. They raised over $15 million for Meals on Wheels, Los Angeles chapter, with their annual event, the American Wine & Food Festival.

Rachael Ray founded Yum-O. Her foundation empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking by teaching families to cook, feeding hungry kids and funding cooking education and scholarships. Yum-O and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation have collaborated to create healthy school food recipes that will be available for free to every school in the U.S.

Charlie Trotter founded The Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation. His foundation awards scholarships to Chicago-area students who are seeking careers in the culinary arts.

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