Unveiling the Guest Chef Series: Raising $40k Dining for Charity
An inconspicuously modern-classy setting and relaxing atmosphere set the stage for a symphony of food and flavors. Gentle clinking of glasses and cutlery enhances the lush mood; conversation flowing as smooth as wine as patrons enjoyed the exquisite culinary experience served up by attentive and high-spirited staff.
It's the launch of Casa Bovina's Guest Chef Series: Patrons enjoy a fantastic dining experience with a chance to meet the nation's foremost chefs while knowing that every single cent goes towards charity.
Chef Andre Rush, Former White House Chef, MSG (Ret) United States Army, and suicide
Guest Chef of the night. 100% of the night's proceeds will go towards the charity of Chef
Rush's choosing: 2,222 Inc., established to assist military, military spouses, and veterans with transition, PTSD support, therapy, and education. 2,222 Inc. has also taken on the
battle to help children from all social divisions combat bullying and cyberbullying by gathering first responders, military, and influencers to help teach children essential and fundamental leadership skills, financial development, and life skills. Chef Rush does two thousand two hundred twenty-two push-ups daily for those that can't, helping people realize other's needs for motivation, inspiration, or just a simple acknowledgment of existence. 2,222 Inc. helps millions in an unorthodox way by raising suicide awareness and preventing children bullying/cyberbullying.
Before the event launch, Chef Rush was given the tour of Certified Piedmontese's Seward Farms, the campus facilities, and Casa Bovina. Joe Finegan, Project Coordinator of Certified Piedmontese, showed the celebrity chef what goes on behind the scenes, from field to production to the dinner table.
"There is more to it than just beef showing up on your doorstep. We showed Chef Rush what things look like on the ground because we run all processes internally. We take pride in every single step of the process. He [Chef Rush] was blown away to see the full scope of our operations, right here in Nebraska," said Joe.
Chef Rush visited Casa Bovina on Thursday night, the day before the event, to dine as a patron. Jordan Reed, Front House Manager of Casa Bovina, recounted the night: "He [Chef Rush] had our tasting menu, and we showed him the same hospitality we show every customer, so he'll know what we're all about and what we do. He thought that if we took this restaurant and dropped it anywhere – East Coast, West Coast; New York, Chicago, California – it would compete with some of the biggest names out there. It was a huge compliment coming from him because the guy's seen it all."
Later that night, Chef Rush acquainted himself with Casa Bovina's chefs and kitchen staff, working with Executive Chef Zach Midgett and Chef de Cuisine Todd Abboud to create the tasting menu for the event launch the following two nights. They opted for a catering-style dinner for the two separate seating times, 5 pm and 8 pm.
"Things went really smooth, this being our very first big charity event. From front of house to the back of house, everyone just knocked it out of the park."
"We served about 150 guests during the fundraising event, raising about $30k from the dinner tickets and another $10k from tips and additional donations," Jordan concluded. "There were many familiar faces and new ones, but they enjoyed the different style still executed at the highest level. There were already requests for future reservations and guests looking forward to the next Guest Chef who would be invited before they even finished the menu."
Ms. Kholousi, a guest of the night, said, "We really appreciate that a local restaurant is doing this, donating so much to a good cause. It's the best meal I've ever had, and I appreciate it even more because I know I'm supporting a good cause. Chef Rush was so kind to come by our table near the end of the night to make sure we enjoyed ourselves and to answer any questions we had regarding the foundation."
The mental and physical health issues that our military and veterans face affect many, and their sacrifice for the country should be met with solid support. Certified Piedmontese looks to continue expanding the Guest Chef Series program as an opportunity to raise and sustain the foundations and non-profit organizations that provide invaluable support to charitable purposes for the community.
During the event, Chef Rush went to each table throughout each seating and thanked the guests for coming and supporting the cause. He told his story and listened gratefully to guests who would share with him their stories and experiences. It was an empowering experience for all involved, from guests to the staff of Casa Bovina and our Guest Chef, Chef Rush himself: "It's an experience I will cherish and never forget."
The night air is warm with late summer heat, but inside Casa Bovina, the atmosphere is enlivened with the genuine warmth from great food and the simple act of doing good.
About Casa Bovina: Casa Bovina is the destination fine-dining restaurant for an unforgettable experience. Enjoy exquisite Italian Inspired Cuisine paired with Real Nebraska Beef prepared by the Best Chefs in the Midwest. Reservations can be made at CasaBovina.com.