Chef Eric Le Vine may have achieved celebrity status after winning the hit Food Network show Chopped in 2011, opening several restaurants, writing two cookbooks and being named a Restaurant Guild International “Chef of the Year Award” for 2013. But, he’s all about giving back.
“I’m a five-time cancer survivor myself,” the chef, who now lives in East Hanover with his wife and two kids, told OMJ at the Family Reach’s Cooking Live! charity event on Monday. “So, anything I can do to give back to the families, I absolutely will.”
The November 14 event, which took place at The Ritz-Carlton New York, featured live cooking demonstrations from the world’s top chefs all in one ballroom. “It’s incredible to be here with people like Chef Ming Tsai, Chef Morimoto. And Todd English. I feel truly blessed.”
What an amazing night. I get to hang out and cook with some of the coolest people. Here's one of my all time favorites @chef_morimoto it's making to hang out, talk food and business with such a great man and amazing chef. @familyreach #fireitup #familyreach #ritzcarlton #blessed #cheflife #bealifeline
Not only did Chef Le Vine get to work alongside some of the industry’s most important cooks, but also be a part of helping families battling pediatric cancer. Recently selected by Vice President Joe Biden as a Cancer Moonshot partner, Family Reach Foundation is a financial lifeline to families fighting cancer. Out-of-pocket costs for cancer average $38,000 annually, leaving many families unable to afford basic living expenses like rent, heat, or groceries. This financial toxicity directly impacts survival rates and access to care, so Family Reach pays these bills, keeping families afloat while a child or parent is in treatment.
One New Jersey family at the event told us that after spending months living in the hospital, the charity helped to pay their mortgage bill so they could focus on their little girl. “You just forget about all of the normal things going on at home,” AJ, father of 2-year-old Emma, told us. “Bills just piled up and Family Reach just made it really easy to take that off our plates.”
Along with Chef Le Vine, iconic broadcaster Bryant Gumbel, a cancer survivor himself, was Chef Ming’s sous-chef, helping prepare his appetizer: Tequila Flambé Norwegian Salmon Carpaccio.