Father’s Day; it’s about celebrating fathers and the roles they play in our families and communities.
Real Men Cook, since its inception in Chicago (IL) in 1990, as well as its second largest market, Atlanta, is about celebrating fatherhood and the men who take on a fatheresque, coaching, and mentorship role in the lives of people young and old. While this year’s event on Father’s Day (June 17th from 3-6pm) is building upon celebrating these critical and essential community figures, it takes on a different meaning this year.
This year’s venue is the Georgia World Congress Center at the Thomas Murphy Ballroom. It is the largest venue the Atlanta group, under the direction of Diane Larche, has ever used. Combined with a projected combination of 150 cooks, chefs, caterers, and men who simply cook for the love of it, it also promises to be its largest collection of sample sized appetizers, entrees, and desserts in recent history.
Nationally syndicated radio personality and author Michael Baisden is serving as the co-host for this year’s event. In addition, he is signing copies of his new book Maintenence Man II in addition to his co-hosting duties. Rick Joyner, another syndicated personality, is serving again as a co-host.
Congressman John Lewis (GA-D), Mayor Kasim Reed, Shannon Brown (SVP of FedEx Express and HR Director of Diversity), Atlanta City Councilman C.T. Martin, and former NFL player and current advocate for cancer research, Chris Draft, are among the array of honorary chairpersons representing multiple fields within the public and private sector. Darlene McCoy, Wanda Trent Phillips, and Xavier Lewis are among the artists scheduled to perform at this father and family-centered event. And Chef Desmond, a long-time supporter of Real Men Cook and author of Seafood The Way I Sea It, is also signing copies of his book.
But there’s more to this year’s event, and that isn’t just because of the multiple giveaways, ranging from a free trip to Jamaica (from The Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort and Spa), an Atlanta Falcons gift package (complete with football tickets), and other items. And while the free food (samples) and drinks are nice, along with a $5 discount coupon that may be used at the door and local ticket outlets only, there’s still something bigger than all of this.
It’s about this year’s charity, which in turn helps celebrate a father and his battle against heart disease.
The proceeds from this year’s event are supporting the Ian Weeks Hearts of Steel Fund. Weeks, who is on the waiting list for a new heart (transplant), is a previous participant of Real Men Cook (Atlanta) through Cartel Catering. Although he is not participating this year, through his son, who is an aspiring and fast-rising chef in his own right, is doing so on his behalf.
With multiple dishes, authors, health-based information, giveaways, and family-themed fun and entertainment, Real Men Cook (Atlanta) continues to establish itself as an ideal way to celebrate Father’s Day, as well as supporting multiple community organizations and programs to make the places where we live, work, and play a better place for all.
And don’t forget the food; that’s real.