Can one event feed hungry kids, promote fitness AND celebrate amazing food? This special edition of Add Passion and Stir was taped at Chefs Cycle, a 300-mile fundraising bike ride in Santa Rosa, CA for No Kid Hungry. Chef Jason Roberts and Bon Appétit Deputy Editor Andrew Knowlton joined Share Our Strength founder and CEO Billy Shore and Share Our Strength National Director of Chef and Culinary Relations Jenny Dirksen to discuss the true meaning of the ride. As one of the founders of Chefs Cycle, Jason says “We’re changing lives. We are creating futures and opportunities… We are not just connecting [kids] to food but also to opportunity.” Andrew underscores the importance of the mission in these uncertain times. “It doesn’t matter which [political] party you believe in – everything [Share Our Strength] is doing is for the kids.”
Both citizen activist guests have been involved with No Kid Hungry for many years: Bon Appétit was the first major sponsor of Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry and opened a lot of important doors for the organization through their advertisers, and Chef Jason led the first ever Chefs Cycle – only a small handful of riders – four years ago.
In addition to raising money for hungry kids, Chefs Cycle also represents an intersection of food and fitness for many of the chefs and culinary professionals who participate. “Chefs are trading bad habits for Lycra and clip-in shoes,” says Chef Jason. Jenny Dirksen has seen chefs of all fitness levels get involved, from hardcore chef cyclists to “everyone who said, ‘this is a good opportunity for me to push myself farther than I’ve gone before.’”
Jenny also compliments the entire group of more than 230 riders. “Our chefs and culinary professionals are an amazing community of generous, warm, intelligent, giving people, and you put them on a ride together and these bonds form.” These bonds will support further iterations of Chefs Cycle, such as multiple rides, longer rides, and even a cross-country ride. Listen to hear all about it and tell us what you think!