Real Men Cook — Chicago’s premiere urban Father’s Day charity event – will depart from past years’ formats by holding the much-anticipated event at 27 venues citywide/suburbanwide. These individual celebrations will be hosted by agencies and entities committed to the mission of Real Men. Partners will maintain the Father’s Day tradition created by Real Men Cook while incorporating their own style and traditions. All events will be held on Father’s Day, June 19, from 3-6PM.
Yvette Moyo and Kofi Moyo-co-founders of Real Men Cook and Rael Jackson, president, made the announcement during a press conference held at the South Side Community Art Center. Some of the hosts/partners were in attendance to express their commitment as event and venue hosts. All shared their eagerness to be part of the new direction.
Ms. Moyo said that the new format would allow the event’s message to have a broader community reach as it expands the Father’s Day tradition of family and community food-fests.
Mr. Jackson said that the annual event would continue the legacy of shining a spotlight on the men and promote awareness of fathers who serve their families on a daily basis. He also addressed the importance of Real Men Cook and declared that bringing families together for a meal is a powerful tool in strengthening the community. He said there would be an effort to reach out to the homeless this year. He added that the 2016 celebration would include an aggressive social media campaign, including on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag: #realmencook
Julian Valentine, who grew up with Real Men Cook and began attending when he was 12 and was the youngest chef at 13, said he was so inspired by the event and by the love of the founders, that he became a chef. He is now a sous chef at Nordstrom’s Café. He shared the Real Men Cook philosophy that “food brings people together.” At the press conference, he served samples of his dishes, including a kale salad, which has been a highlight in the organization’s healthy mission and has been featured at every Real Men Cook event since 1999.
Among the Chicago communities where the celebrations will be held thus far are Englewood, Chatham, South Shore, Hyde Park, Lawndale, Bronzeville, Auburn Gresham and Park Manor and more. There will also be events in South Suburban cities and other outlying areas hosted by elected officials and community organization leaders. In these individual sites, men will serve in churches, fraternity houses, homeless shelters, their blocks, backyards, homes and parks. At each location, they will demonstrate that Real Men Cook, Love and Care.
The events will continue Real Men Charities’, Inc. tradition of promoting health and wellness, prevention and awareness for families and children. Accordingly, each locale will serve healthy foods and broadcast the message that food is medicine. Activities for children, also a Real Men Cook tradition, will continue.
Some of the partners at the conference who are among the 27 hosts were: Demetrious Walker of Fathers & Blessings, “a south suburban-based organization that seeks to unite Fathers and Blessings as one for a change;” Minister Jeffrey Muhammad of Mosque Maryam whose members will manage the event at that location; Jerald Gary, Chairman of the Chicago Regal Foundation, operator of the Avalon Regal Theater and David Peterson Jr. President, National A Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum, will also host the event at their respective venues. Each of the partners expressed their commitment to the Real Men Cook mission and vowed to maintain the tradition at the sites they will host.
Jackson believes the newly-revamped event represents the beginning of a broader Movement. “Life is about change,” he declared, “and localizing and expanding the event’s reach is a way of keeping the healthy families, good men Movement vibrant.”
Real Men Cook is the largest, longest-running and most-anticipated Father’s Day celebration of its kind. It provides a platform where “real men” from all walks of life are honored for demonstrating extraordinary commitment to their families and to their communities. In keeping with Real Men Cook’s core mission. Each venue will award men for the contributions they have made in their communities.
Some of the high-profile men who have donned a chef’s hat and participated in the past include U.S. Senator Barack Obama, Congressmen Danny Davis, Congressman John Conyers, and John Lewis. Senate President Emil Jones and his son Senator Emil Jones and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. and his sons, former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Professor Jonathan Jackson have also joined in past celebrations.
For more information, visit www.realmencook.com