8 Chefs 1 Cause: The Next Generation Scholarship Fundraiser at Nico Heirloom Kitchen

September 1, 2016

Fundraising Dinner Menu

It all started eight years ago at the 9th annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner. The first Next Generation Scholarship was given to a few children of our farmers with the intent of helping them pay for college so they could return to the farm. In its first year, the scholarship totaled $6,000.

Today, the Next Generation Scholarship has grown to support 23 students with over $85,000 in funds for college – an amount that wouldn’t be possible without the support of chefs who work hard to raise money across the country. This includes chefs like Gio Osso of Nico Heirloom Kitchen and Virtu Honest Craft in the greater Phoenix area.

Chef Gio Osso at the 8 Chefs 1 Cause Fundraiser

Chef Gio Osso, left, of Nico Heirloom Kitchen expediting food during the 8 Chefs 1 Cause fundraiser.

Gio was selected by Sterling Food Service as one of five featured chefs to attend the 17th annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner this August. His commitment to serving sustainably and humanely raised meats outpaces that of most chefs. Combined with his deep family values and incredible talent in the kitchen, Gio was the perfect choice to come cook for over 300 farmers in Iowa during this event.

Chef Gio cooking at the Farmer Apperciation Dinner

Chef Gio cooking for over 300 of our family farmers during the Farmer Appreciation Dinner in Iowa this August.

But cooking in honor of our farmers wasn’t enough. Gio was inspired to host a fundraising brunch to support the Next Generation Scholarship Fund. He gathered seven of Phoenix and Scottsdale’s most talented chefs and hosted the 8 Chefs 1 Cause brunch on Sunday, July 24, 2016, at his newest restaurant, Nico Heirloom Kitchen.

Chef Gio's partner Brady at the fundraiser

Gio’s business partner, Brady, helping service with several attendees in the foreground during the 8 Chefs 1 Cause fundraiser at Nico Heirloom Kitchen.

We were lucky enough to have the following chefs cook at this event using our all-natural, high quality meats. Each chef chose a different cut or protein:

Course 1: Biscuits & Gravy by Chef Josh Herbert, Posh Improvisational Cuisine

Course 2: Maple Pork Rillette Benedict, Chef Gio Osso

Course 3: Lambchetta by Chef Bernie Kantak, Citizen Public House & The Gladly

Course 4: Smoked Tri Tip by Chef Scott Holmes, Little Miss BBQ


Chef Scott Holmes of Little Miss BBQ putting the finishing touches on his Smoked Tri Tip.

Course 5: Hot Pig Cheeks by Chef Stephen Jones of The Larder + The Delta

Course 6: Teriyaki Bone Marrow by Chef Cullen Campbell, Crudo & Okra

Chef Cullen Campbell's

Chef Cullen Campbell’s Teriyaki Bone Marrow, left, alongside Chef Stephen Jones’s Hot Pork Cheeks on grits, right.

Course 7: Lamb Green Chili Hash by Chef Jacob Cutino, Homeboy’s Hot Sauce

Course 8: Crispy Pork Trotters by Chef Justin Beckett, Beckett’s Table & Souther Rail

For dessert, Nico’s own Chef Clarissa Robinson made a gorgeous peach dish with herbs, sweet cream and a light shortbread. It was the perfect way to top off this exquisite brunch experience!

Guests were able to not only donate by their meal purchase. They also had the chance to make a private donation or purchase a Niman Ranch logo T-shirt or hat at the event.

Next Generation Scholarship Fund

Niman Ranch’s Southwest Sales Director, Ashley DiBlasi, talking with guests about how they can contribute to the Next Generation Scholarship Fund.

On behalf of all 23 scholarship recipients, we want to extend a tremendous Thank You to all the chefs who worked so hard to raise money at such an important fundraiser. This event also would not have been possible without the support of local Phoenix-area community members to came out in the 115 degree heat to dine for a cause.

Learn more about the Niman Ranch Next Generation Foundation and see how it impacts the next generation of farmers.

More Posts Like This

Niman Ranch Fat Tire BBQ Collection Selected as Editors’ Pick in Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine

January 16, 2020

Read More
Read More

Healthy Recipes for the New Year

January 7, 2020

Read More
Read More

5 Game Day Recipes with Niman Ranch Fat Tire BBQ Collection

January 7, 2020

Read More
Read More

Stay Up to Date
with the Latest

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest recipes, happenings and more.

Add Me
Niman Ranch