Vail feast raises money for the hungry |

Vail feast raises money for the hungry

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Five local chefs will team up Thursday to prepare a dinner benefiting hungry children.

Proceeds from the first “Taste of the Nation Vail” will flow to Share Our Strength, a national organization devoted to fighting childhood hunger.

Local chef Paul Ferzacca helped to organize the dinner, which will take place at the Vail Plaza Hotel and Club in Vail. He plans to make a Colorado peach upside down tres leche cake for dessert.

“I love giving back to the industry that’s given me so much, but this is about feeding hungry kids,” said Ferzacca, owner of La Tour in Vail and ZaccaZa! in Avon. “This is about feeding kids right here in the state of Colorado and America. There are tons of kids right here that are starving.”

Chef Paul Anders from Sweet Basil in Vail will contribute a crab salad with pickled onions, avocado mousse and citrus gel.

“I think that educating people and raising money to fight childhood hunger is a very important cause,” he said. “It’s something that I think everybody should be behind and more people should be aware of.”

Other participating chefs from Vail eateries include Kelly Liken from Restaurant Kelly Liken, Paul Anders from Sweet Basil, Kevin Nelson from Terra Bistro and Ted Schneider, former chef for the Vail Plaza Hotel and Club.

Share Our Strength hopes to draw 100 people to the dinner. As of late last week, about 80 had signed up. Organizers hope to raise $5,000, which will be distributed through grants to state and local organizations, said Laura Hagen, Colorado field manager for Share our Strength.

Two Denver organizations will receive the funds, Hagen said. They include the Colorado Anti-Hunger Network, a group that lobbies the government for policies that thwart hunger. The other organization is Share Our Strength’s Operation Frontline Colorado, which offers cooking and nutrition classes to low-income families, Hagen said. The money will help to fund class expenses like groceries, she said.

In addition to statewide anti-hunger groups, the dinner will raise funds for a local organization with similar goals. As of press time, Hagen was awaiting the approval of paperwork that would allow her to release the name of that organization.

Share Our Strength, a nonprofit based in Washington D.C., has been holding Taste of the Nation dinners in Denver for the past 20 years.

The organization helps children eat and cook healthy, so they can avoid conditions like diabetes, Hagen said.

“We’re trying to prevent them from moving forward in an unhealthy way and I think everyone can feel for that,” she said. “You want to make sure kids at school aren’t hungry and kids after school aren’t hungry.”

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or

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