In a constantly on-the-go society, sometimes it’s easier to grab a quick-fix meal by stopping at a fast food restaurant or grabbing processed food or junk food, but living a heart-healthy life can be just as simple.
At Chef’s Fight for Your Heart, a fundraising event to raise awareness for heart disease, local chefs, doctors and fitness professionals emphasized that making a heart-healthy life a priority is much easier than dealing with heart disease. The event encouraged audience members to take the time to think about their heart health, to make healthy food and exercise decisions in order to live a longer life.
Cardiologist and event sponsor Dr. Vincent Abbrescia said that even after his 10-hour work days, he makes an effort to squeeze in a small workout, because he knows the importance of cardiovascular health.
“It’s not hard to eat healthy. It’s not hard to make time for exercise,” he said. “The resources today are plentiful. You have to make looking at heart disease and living a heart-healthy life a passion.”
While the frequency of lives lost to heart disease has significantly decreased in the last 10 years, one in four Americans still die of heart disease, Abbrescia said to a room of more than 100 people.
“We don’t want to treat the disease, we want to prevent it,” Abbrescia said.
And when Ludovic Bezy’s brother Frederic died of the disease at the age of 48, leaving three children behind, Bezy decided he had to do whatever he could to educate the public on how to eat, exercise and live to keep the heart healthy.
That desire gave birth to Chef’s Fight for your Heart, a friendly cooking competition and fundraiser that was held for the second year on Saturday at Harrington Raceway & Casino.
“Our goal is to educate others about eating and living in a healthy way,” Bezy said. “More and more people are going out to eat, but they’re not watching what they’re eating.”
During the cooking competition between three Delaware chefs, Ryan Cunningham of Bonz Restaurant at Harrington Raceway & Casino, James Harrison of the Clarion Hotel in New Castle, and last year’s winner Hari Cameron of a(MUSE.) Restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, audience members also had the opportunity to see first-hand how easy it is to prepare delicious, heart-healthy meals and take those tips back to their families and dinner tables.
The dishes prepared by the chefs were evaluated by a panel of six judges, including Delaware middleweight boxing champion Dave Tiberi, and an audience of more than 100 people, who all had an opportunity to sample each dish.
Page 2 of 2 - Cunningham took home the title of Chef’s Fight for your Heart champion after preparing a seared tuna dish with sides of pureed sweet potatoes and yogurt with berries.
Last year’s event raised approximately $2,500, and Event Director Anita Wheeler-Bezy expects to raise more than $3,000 after ticket sales and donations are all accounted for, she said. All proceeds go to the American Heart Association.
For more information, visit www.chefsfight.com.