We love highlighting all the amazing #anovafoodnerds and incredible organizations giving back to their local communities. We are especially excited to support Feed the Fam, a virtual fundraiser event that’s live-streaming Sunday, October 18th to benefit ATLFAMILYMEAL, a non-profit founded by Atlanta restaurateur and #anovafoodnerd Michael Lennox.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis this past March, Michael helped organize ATLFAMILYMEAL alongside a small grassroots team, focused on feeding and providing resources/support for Metro Atlanta's 300,000 hospitality workers experiencing economic distress and food insecurity. Supported by restaurants, food service businesses, community leaders and creatives, the organization feeds out-of-work hospitality staff with free meals delivered right to their doorstep. It also supports independent restaurants with funding and resources to stay open and weather the COVID-19 storm. To date, they have cooked and delivered over 118,500 meals!We got to speak with Micheal to learn more about the event and what inspired him to give back during this unprecedented time.
Q: Michael, it’s great to talk to you today! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
A: In October 2012 I was lost-at-sea professionally as a young lawyer, daydreaming of opening my own restaurant. It was then, while excitedly exploring the newly opened Beltline (a sustainable Atlanta redevelopment project that will ultimately connect 45 in-town neighborhoods via multi-use trails, modern streetcar, and parks) with my wife, that I stumbled on the fairly scrappy space that would become my first restaurant and the first restaurant on the Beltline, Ladybird. I didn’t have a business plan, investors, experience - I had nothing other than an overwhelming feeling that I needed to bring this idea to life. Since opening in 2014, we have been fortunate to experience support from the community and have since opened two other restaurants, Golden Eagle and Muchacho. In 2018, we hit a huge milestone and formed a hospitality group called Electric Hospitality to house our restaurants and future projects. I'm very proud of each and every restaurant.
Q: How will the funds raised by your upcoming virtual event - Feed the Fam - support ATLFAMILYMEAL?
A: The fundraising event, Feed the Fam, is streaming live Sunday, October 18th at 7 pm at feedthefamatl.org, complete with a unique lineup of musical performances, cooking demos, a raffle (including the Anova Precision® Cooker Pro!), as well as a delivered 7 course at home dinner which can be enjoyed by those in Atlanta. Even if you're outside of the city, we want to note that we have awesome raffle prizes and merchandise for food lovers everywhere. All proceeds from the event’s dinner, raffle, and merchandise sales go to support ATLFAMILYMEAL and its mission! As the crisis continues to disrupt the lives and livelihoods of so many people in communities across the U.S., this event is as a critical way to amplify our message and expand our impact by raising awareness and funds to further our mission.
Q: We are so excited to be able to support the incredible work you are doing! Could you tell us a bit about how you use sous vide?
A: Our roots and day to day are firmly planted in Hospitality and we believe that the same standard of technique should go into every item that comes into our kitchen and every meal that comes out regardless of whether it's for a high end private dinner or one of the meals we're preparing for AFM. We have a team of chefs that prepares all of the meals and we believe that the Anova Precision® Cooker Pro is an irreplaceable tool in our arsenal that we lean on heavily. We are proud of the quality of the food that we put out and are grateful to have a partner like Anova supporting our efforts.Make sure to tune into the virtual event and help support ATLFAMILYMEAL on Sunday, October 18th!