On Sunday, April 22, Overlook Farm (901 South Highway 79, Clarksville; 573-242-3838) will host the First Annual Chefs, Friends, and Families 5K Run/Walk to benefit Chefs for Students, a national scholarship fund for culinary students.
The event is the brainchild of Overlook's executive chef, Mike Polcyn, and his executive pastry chef, Anne Croy, the race organizer. Polcyn has many ties to the St. Louis region. He has worked for the Ladue Racquet Club, the Mayfair Hotel and Food Outreach, in addition to donating a significant amount of time to local charity endeavors over the past fifteen years.
"This is the first time we've done a run like this," said Polcyn, who has been involved with four different Chefs for Students fundraisers in the past couple of years. He noted that Overlook Farm is also planning on making its annual Luv-Luv BBQ Festival this August a fundraiser for the organization.
Polcyn first learned of Chefs for Students on the Web forum chef2chef.net, which he describes as a forum for "everything culinary," where aspiring chefs can go to learn about what to expect from culinary school, explore possible funding sources for school, and receive practical culinary advice. The contacts he made there led to his becoming part of the organization and eventually traveling around the country to participate in fundraisers.
Chefs for Students has been in existence since 2004, and gives out $1,000 grants to as many as ten culinary students to schools across the country each year. In 2005 culinary student Derek Thomas of East Central College in Union, was awarded one of the scholarships, and Thomas, now locally employed by U.S. Foods, has since dedicated time every year to participating in fundraisers for the group.
The event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at Overlook's Clarksville Station Restaurant. To learn more about the event or to register, go to bigriverrunning.com.