Cooking for a Cure

The Daily Meal recently took part in 1,000 Cooks for the Cure and invites you to use your culinary skills for a good cause too

Cooking for a Cure

Cancer research has long been on the forefront of our nation’s charity causes. Over the years, forms of support have reached new and unheard of levels, with people gathering to walk, run, and even swim in the name of fighting the life-threatening disease. One foundation that stands out to many out of the various cancer-battling efforts is the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation and its fight against breast cancer. Started in 1982, the foundation was created in honor of Susan G. Komen, a valiant breast cancer victim who fought endlessly throughout her battle with the illness. Her bravery and strength will never be forgotten, and her memory is carried out through the work of the foundation that was started by her sister Nancy G. Brinker.

Click Here to See The Daily Meal's 1,000 Cooks for the Cure Dinner Party

As was Brinker’s promise to her dying sister, the foundation has made tremendous strides in the fight against breast cancer through the work of ground-breaking research, community health outreach, and the development of programs in more than 50 countries throughout the world. One effort that the foundation is very proud of and stands out most in The Daily Meal’s mind, not surprisingly, is their work with KitchenAid through their Cook for the Cure program. The program is meant to encourage passionate cooks and food lovers to take part in the cause through the sale of pink cooking products, celebrity-chef auctions, and grassroots efforts. Over the years, KitchenAid and Susan G. Komen have raised more than $8 million through their efforts, and the program has received two Gold Halo awards from the Cause Marketing Forum. In addition to their award-winning praise, they’ve received a number of recognitions from NBC Nightly News and unyielding support from several celebrity chefs, including Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse, and Bobby Flay — just to name a few.

This year, Cook for the Cure is joining legendary PBS cooking show host Jacques Pépin to garner a different form of support for the fight against breast cancer. With their nationwide event 1,000 Cooks for the Cure, they’re asking culinarians throughout the country to host a dinner party any time between July 20 and July 29. Instead of bringing flowers or a bottle of wine, they ask that guests make a small donation to the Susan G. Komen foundation as a form of a hostess gift.

The idea behind the event is simple: register your dinner party, cook for a few friends, and support breast cancer. Any host that raises $50 or more will receive a Villeroy & Boch serving platter designed with artwork by Pépin. In an effort to keep the cause going, the gift is a part of a "Pass the Plate" campaign, where each platter is individually numbered and encouraged to be re-gifted. Each time the platter is registered under a new name on the Cook for the Cure website, KitchenAid will make an additional $5 donation toward the cause. Along with the platter, hosts will be entered to win a trip to New York City, which includes cooking lessons by Pépin at the French Culinary Institute, a collection of personally signed cookbooks by Pépin, and dinner at the French Culinary Institute’s renowned L’Ecole restaurant.

We loved the idea, and so we hosted our own 1,000 Cooks for the Cure party and raised more than $600 in its honor. In keeping with the theme, we kept our party simple, focusing on two main dishes, a lobster nicoise salad and fillet of beef, that are easily prepared and serve as perfect summer entrées. Everything was stunning, the food was delicious, and guests were more than happy to donate to the cause. All in all, the event was a huge success, and we were happy to not only support something that is near and dear to many of our hearts, but we were able to do it in the way we best know how. You’re not too late to host your own Cook for the Cure party, and we encourage you to share recipes and photos from your dinner party with us through Twitter and Facebook. For more information about the event and to register yourself as one of the 1,000 Cooks for the Cure, visit the Cook for the Cure website.