Affordable healthcare – it’s one of those things that everyone needs, but not everyone has easy access to, especially employees of small independent businesses that lack the means to supply health insurance to their staff.
“It’s one of those things that gets kind of swept under the rug, so to speak,” says Ron Troyano, managing co-partner at Alchemy Restaurant in San Diego’s South Park neighborhood. “There are alternatives for people to get healthcare and emergency benefits, but there’s really not one focused specifically on a certain group of people that typically doesn’t have that available to them – so we came up with this idea to really enable those people to have something to fall back on.”
That idea is the Front Burner Fund, a 501c-3 charity spearheaded by Troyano along with fellow local culinary figures Flor Franco, Julie Darling, and Maria Sparks. The group is dedicated to raising funds for emergency medical needs and healthcare costs for back of house workers in San Diego’s culinary community, and on Tuesday, June 12, it’s hosting its inaugural fundraising event at Alchemy. The venue choice is not arbitrary – the goal for Front Burner’s first event is funding much-needed corrective eye surgery for Alchemy’s own Executive Chef Ricardo Heredia.
The June 12 event runs from 5:30 to midnight, the centerpiece of which is a tasting-style dinner with unique dishes provided by:
- Hanis Cavin (Carnitas’ Snack Shack)
- Miguel Valdez (The Red Door Restaurant & Wine Bar)
- Alex Carballo (Stone Brewing World Bistro)
- Chad White (Gabardine)
- Tina Luu (The Art Institute San Diego)
- Ron Oliver (The Marine Room)
- Ben Rollins (What's Ben Baking)
- Cruz Caudillo (Praline Patisserie)
- Tommy Fraioli (Sea Rocket Bistro)
- Sarah Trigg (Hamilton’s Tavern)
- Beatriz Ledezma (Caxao Chocolate)
A ticket will also net attendees a complimentary drink ticket, with beverages provided by Big Hammer Wines, Stone Brewing Co., and other local microbreweries. As the night goes on, food trucks including Mangia! Mangia!, Miss Sushi San Diego, OB Seafood, Casanova Fish Tacos, and MIHO Gastrotruck will be on hand to keep partiers well-fed.
“Then there’s going to be a raffle with wonderful gift certificates and prize packages, culinary themed happenings, and game events,” adds Troyano. “It will just be a good way for everybody to get together, recognize a need, and get the ball rolling.”
Tickets for the Front Burner event are $25, and can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets or by contacting Alchemy at (619) 255-0616. 100 percent of all proceeds from the event go toward Heredia’s treatment.