Propel A Young Chef + Build A More Sustainable Community
Organized by: Mark Albrecht
When he was about 7 yrs. old, Xavion started to notice some changes. In addition to sharing the spotlight with his new baby sister, he began to see the family television tuned regularly into PBS and The Food Network. While his sister was mesmerized by the likes of SuperWhy!,his mother (and eventually dad, too) began to take in a steady diet of Iron Chef America, Chopped and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. By the age of 8, he was making scrambled eggs and helping with other small dishes and starting to write down recipe ideas in a notebook. It wasn’t long before he boldly declared his desire to be a chef and open his own restaurant named All-Star Co. At 9, he attended his first summer cooking camp at Fontbonne University. For his 10th birthday, he was surprised with a birthday cake picturing the menu board for All Star Co with the dishes he had dreamed up. This past summer he added the Gardens To Tables Cooking Camp at Saint Louis University to his resumé as well as returning to Fontbonne’s F.R.E.S.H. Camp for a 2nd year. For his very recent 11th birthday, he was presented in surprise fashion with his very own chef’s coat by Allyson Mace of Sauce Magazine at their annual Harvest Festival in Laumeier Sculpture Park and introduced to Sauce’s Chef of the Year, Ed Heath of Cleveland-Heath Restaurant. Chef Heath invited him to come, hang out and have some fun with him in their kitchen. Currently he and his father, Mark Albrecht (founder of Project Engage Network) and a small crew are now set to begin production of the youth-led, youth-driven "U.City Roots! Watch Us Grow" program documenting his path to chef-hood and entrepreneurship while focusing on learning, using and growing the sustainability resources in his University City, MO. neighborhood. They will be enlisting the help of local sustainability experts, chefs and restaurant owners with the on-going challenge of prioritizing "U.City-rooted” sustainable resources over the ease of using chain stores for ingredients. This project has a clear focus on discovering the often unknown and under-utilized resources in our own front, back and side yards, as well as building the community(ies) we wish to see in the world. They have a lot of ideas and research they’d like to jump right into, as well as build a team of youngsters to help with all facets of the project. Currently, they are fresh off their recent October 25th VICTORY at SLOUP (#60), an idea pitch competition where this project was first revealed in public space. Just prior to that, they caught the excited eyes and ears of some local folks at The Green Center (sustainability center of U.City) and the C.A.L.O.P. board (local programming funders.) The buzz is growing exponentially week-by-week as word is traveling quickly within their community borders and beyond. In order to make all this happen and get things started… they will NEED YOUR HELP to raise $3,000 for equipment, production and marketing costs in the NEXT 30 DAYS. They are looking to be in full production by February 2016 and will need a total of $7,000 to make that happen. PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING what you can to help propel this eager, young CHEF-IN-TRAINING and his cohorts to not only pursue their entrepreneurial dreams but build a stronger, MORE SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY by example.