Greetings, Mystic Meows!
This time around I write about a very dear friend of mine who is doing something extraordinary and magical for a most worthy cause. Feeding children in our schools.
Sack Lunch PDX is a non-profit organization consisting of a team of 19 hospitality industry professionals based in Portland, who work together to raise money for Chefs Cycle an annual event that goes to benefit No Kid Hungry.
It’s extremely rare that one can combine all of their passions into something and help make an impact with it, and that’s exactly what Chef Chris DiMinno is helping to do. Having grown up on the East Coast in a large Italian family, food was the focal point of all of his family gatherings instilling the importance of nurturing and nourishment.
Chris honed his skills and learned the art of practicing sustainable farm-to- table cooking under some of New Yorks most renowned Chefs, such as Tom Valenti, Bill Telepan , and Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, just to name a few.
He moved to Portland, Oregon where he was able to embrace his love and passion for cycling since the landscape provides the perfect environment for riding, enjoying the outdoor lifestyle, and encouraging the culture. It wasn’t long before he found others in the culinary scene that had the same love and enthusiasm for riding that he has.
Eventually, Chris was offered the opportunity to combine his two passions of cycling and cooking while he was the Executive Chef and Event Producer for King Cycling Group’s Gourmet Century Events, where he first heard of and became involved with Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry a few years back.
NKH is striving to end childhood hunger, currently focusing on working with Public Schools to improve, and in some cases reinstate meal programs all over the country, including Oregon. When I asked Chris what it was about this cause that means so much to him, his answer was heartfelt and to the point.
“When I was growing up, my parents worked their asses off to make sure I never went without a meal. 1 in 6 children in this country go to school every day hungry… and the fact that this is an issue is an abomination. It’s a solvable problem. As a chef who’s job it is to feed people, it is my obligation to help, especially in such a fun way.”
He says that the SLPDX team is holding several events in the Portland area in the next two months, with a 300 mile ride taking place May 14-16 in Santa Rosa, CA with a goal of 275+ chefs riding to raise $2.4M. Pushing their physical limits while raising funds and awareness in support of such an organization is no easy feat. I was curious as to how he prepares himself for such a thing, so I asked Chris what his daily eating regimen consists of.
“Every day I ride I usually start with a protein shake, then eat something small with a lot of fat…. avocado toast with bacon usually works well. During the ride it varies, but every time I stop I eat and drink a whole bottle of water. I’ve been in the situation too many times where I don’t realize I’m undernourished until it’s too late. Dinner will be huge, and usually a lot of vegetables and proteins. I do everything in my power to avoid a ton of bread and alcohol, but I love beer too much to let it go entirely.”
In addition, he says that their Facebook page is setup with a donate button which will bring you directly to the Chefs Cycle website where anyone can contribute. Even $1 can make a huge impact. Click here to donate!
Currently he’s the Executive Chef at Trifecta, a restaurant and bakery that offers seasonal and sustainable cuisine and a bar that serves up old school cocktails like Negroni’s and Sidecar’s with a modern twist, and also has some impressive wines. He’s already working on the Spring Menu, and if you’re in the Portland area, I highly recommend you check the place out.
I have the utmost respect for people who put themselves out there in such a selfless way to help others in need, especially children. This is truly something that we can all relate to and help with. I hope you, dear reader, will consider giving a donation to help the Chefs reach their goal to help stop childhood hunger in our schools!
And Chris… As your friend, I am so very proud of you and all that you’ve accomplished so far. Cheers, hugs, and meows to you and everyone involved with Sack Lunch PDX!😻
Follow me on Instagram at Mystic Meals!
Nikki Meow 💖