Top local chefs team up with kids to fight childhood obesity (update: event's today)

Update June 17: Today's the big day. So, two things: 1) ticketing info is at the bottom, and 2) The Post and Courier has a nice preview to today's event.

First reporting: Louie’s Kids, a local nonprofit organization that raises funds to help treat childhood obesity, is working with top local Charleston chefs to demonstrate to children of all backgrounds that eating healthfully can be inexpensive, delicious and attainable.

The 2nd Annual Louie's Kids "Big Chef, Little Chef" fundraiser will be featuring top local chefs Craig Deihl of Cypress; Michelle Weaver of Charleston Grill; Marc Collins of Circa 1886; Mike Lata of FIG; Sean Brock of McCrady’s; Nico Romo of FISH; and Fred Neuville of Fat Hen. The "big chefs" will be joined by seven "little chef" contestant who will be a part of a friendly collaborative cooking competition.

Here's more from the official press release:

At the event, guests will taste and rate each team’s culinary creations and a winner will be named. Joining the judges panel will be a few celebrity guests, including Emmy Award-nominated television host, chef and author, Marvin Woods; Biggest Loser, Season 6 finalists Heba Salama and Ed Brantley; and local television personality Ryan Nelson. The contestants will be judged on flavor, originality, and nutritional value of their dish. Live music will be provided by Hank Futch of the Blue Dogs.Prior to the main event on June 17, each big chef had the opportunity to meet their little chef to select ingredients and create a menu. It was an eye-opening experience for each party. Many of the Louie’s Kids participants have never had an opportunity to go behind the scenes of a restaurant kitchen, and many of the participating chefs have likewise never gotten the chance to work one-on-one with a child battling obesity.“I don’t think some of these chefs really understood the severity of some of these children’s situations until they had a chance to meet them,” said Louie’s Kids founder Louis Yuhasz. “For example, a child named Jae said he’d never experienced anything like his counterpart’s kitchen, never had such amazing food and when given the chance to dine on a dish prepared by his Big Chef, said, “it tastes like grass jumping up and down in my mouth!”“I’m daunted by this crisis and astounded how close to home this is for all of us,” added Mike Lata, acclaimed chef of FIG restaurant and 2009 James Beard award winner for Best Chef Southeast. “As chefs, we have the platform and opportunity to educate a world of kids about food. The philosophy for me is a lot like that of the Southern Foodways Alliance, who encourages us to “set a common table, where black or white, rich and poor, will all gather and consider the history, future and spirit of reconciliation.”

Tickets are $45 in advance or $50 at the door and include beer and wine. Get yours today. The dinner takes place June 17th from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Lowndes Grove Plantation located at 266 Margaret Street.