Local Chef Provides Behind The Scenes Look At Celebrity Chef Events

By Jessica Maurer, posted Jan 22, 2020

Preparing for GLOW’s annual celebrity chef fundraising events is no small undertaking, but it’s a job that Christi Ferretti, chef and co-owner of Pine Valley Market, said she is honored to have. 

As chef liason for the upcoming events -- a private, in-home dinner prepared by chef Tyler Florence on Thursday, followed by a breakfast and luncheon at the County Club of Landfall on Friday -- Ferretti (pictured below) is responsible for making sure everything is in place.

She held the position for the first time last year when chef Robert Irvine was in town, as well as for Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington's (GLOW) grand opening in the fall, which featured Irvine as well as Emeril Lagasse. 

Feretti has been working with Florence’s team, primarily Matt Masera, culinary director for The Florence Group, every step of the way – from menu planning and budgeting to assessing equipment needs and sourcing ingredients. 

Feretti said that as chef liason, she works to provide the best possible ingredients for the best price, particularly since the event is a fundraiser. 

She said that while Florence and his team have been very specific about sourcing certain specialty items, they have been open to using locally grown produce such as sweet potatoes and baby carrots from Red Beard Farms, beets and spring onions from Cottle Organics, strawberries from Lewis Farms and sea salt from Sea Love Sea Salt Co. Feretti has also enlisted Feast Down East to help with additional local ingredients. 

Florence announced last week that in addition to the previously scheduled events, he will also host a Food Truck Challenge during Friday’s breakfast. Ferretti will be helping to organize a selection of pantry items for the trucks to utilize, as well as their mystery basket ingredients. 

“It’s a ton of work but I really enjoy it,” Ferretti said. “It’s a kind of extended learning for me, a way to soak up tips, tricks and knowledge from other chefs. I always leave inspired. Exhausted, but inspired.”

Feretti has enlisted the help of some of her fellow local chefs to help behind the scenes at the upcoming events. Chef Jamison Chavez and pastry chef Rebecca Alvarez of Manna will lend a hand, as will Lori Eaton of Eaton at Home, Brian Groves of Publix and Jon Webb of Blue Surf Café. 

“Every chef is different but I’ve heard that Tyler is very hands-on,” Ferretti said. “I look forward to welcoming him on behalf of GLOW and the entire community.”

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