Jr. Iron Chef RVA

    Saturday August 26, 2017


    11:00 am - 2:00 pm


    Peter Paul Development Center

  • Our Story

    How Did We Get Here

    Beautiful RVA has made national headlines for its budding culinary scene and talented chefs and restaurateurs but, has also gained spotlight for being home to some of the largest food deserts for a city of it's size. Church Hill and Greater Fulton make up a large portion of Richmond's food deserts. The Neighborhood Resource Center, Peter Paul Development Center, Shalom Farms and Greater Richmond Fit4Kids seek a new and exciting way to engage in change around this epidemic. For this reason, we are launching the first ever Jr Iron Chef RVA event. This is a community event to connect all community members and families to resources around health, nutrition, gardening, food and access and to bring awareness to the issues that our communities face.

    Getting To The Meat Of It!

    Having access to fresh, whole foods is only a part of a much larger problem. Knowing what to do with fresh ingredients can help to make healthier decisions in the kitchen, leading to a healthier, more fulfilled lifestyle. The Junior Iron Chef Program is an 8 week summer enrichment program that focuses on teaching culinary skills, exploring healthy food options, defining farm to table efforts and giving students a better view of our local food and market scene.

    During The Event

    Our partners and sponsors will be hosting information and demo tables and farm stands highlighting food, gardening, health, nutrition, and access. We will be giving away seeds, late summer/fall seedlings, cookbooks and recipe boxes full with ingredients to prepare a tasty meal for the family. More importantly, we will be connecting community members to local resources that they can use to live healthier lives.

  • The Man, The Myth, The Legend

    The Modern Gentleman will be lending his charisma and knowledge of food to add commentary on the event

    Jason Tesauro

    Modern Gentleman

    from themodgent.com

    After earning his BA from Drew University, Tesauro pursued a wine education and affection for Viognier and Nebbiolo. By day, he served for over a decade under winemaker Luca Paschina at Barboursville Vineyards to spread the word of Virginia wine and local bounty. By night, Tesauro co-authored with Phineas Mollod The MODERN GENTLEMAN: A Guide to Essential Manners, Savvy & Vice (2002), The MODERN LOVER: A Playbook for Suitors, Spouses & Ringless Carousers (2004), and The MODERN GENTLEMAN Second Edition (2011).

  • Judges Include

    These fine folks will be judging based on presentation, taste, and technique

    Tabitha Monroe Gregory

    Bon Secours

    Tabitha Monroe Gregory, is a Registered Dietitian and manages Community Nutrition Outreach for the Richmond Bon Secours Health System. Tabitha’s interest in nutrition was sparked during her studies at Johnson & Wales University. After graduating from James Madison University in 2009 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Dietetics, Tabitha went on to work with the Women, Infants, and Children program and Virginia Department of Health for 6 years.


    Originally from the Hampton Roads area, Tabitha joined the Bon Secours family in 2015 and has completely fallen in love with Richmond and enjoys using the unique teaching marriage of nutrition education and cooking to empower folks be confident in creating healthy, delicious food!

    Casey Hues

    Compass Group

    Velma johnson aka Mama J

    Mama J's

    Throughout her life, Velma Johnson has been an exemplary supporter of numerous charities and causes that help those less fortunate. In sharing her success, Mama J’s partners with organizations that work on the front lines to support health and education initiatives


    Brandon Walton

    Food & Outreach Director



    Brandon has been hard at work looking for new ways of bringing awareness to the issues of food access in Fulton and beyond. Through the NRC's pop up restaurant events, food pantry, garden program, and education on shopping smarter and eating healthier, Brandon is making an impact one family at a time.

    Damon Jiggetts

    Executive Director


    That outward expression of my passion became my purpose. Guided by my passion, my job became the tool to contribute in very purposeful ways to young people while building my professional capacity. As I continued to learn professionally and grow personally, I actively looked for opportunities to expand my sphere of influence.

  • Bringing Chefs To The Food Access Table

    These Chefs will be cooking up tasty bites during the competition  

    Lee Gregory

    Roosevelt, SouthBound

    From chefleegregory.com

    South Carolina native and adopted son of Virginia Lee Gregory got his culinary start like many young cooking, working an internship. In Gregory’s case, it happened to be with Richmond Chef Dale Reitzer of Acacia, who not only taught him a love and appreciation for cooking, but also instilled in him a love for the city of Richmond.

    Will Richardson

    Kudzu RVA

    Will Richardson first hit the RVA food scene as the chef-owner of Shoryuken Ramen, a ramen restaurant born out of a pop-up operation he started in 2013. It was during this time that his hiyashi ramen took the prize for best dish at the 2015 Broad Appetit food festival. Shoryuken closed in 2016 and Richardson stayed busy with dinner events, cooking demonstrations, and pop-up appearances. His next chapter brings Kudzu, a food truck that draws from his experiences in the kitchen of his grandparents’ Chinese restaurant and from the rural south where his father grew up. Kudzu is set to open in the fall of 2017. Richardson is also heading the Naam Supper Club, which will hold monthly dinners to benefit The Shepherd’s Circle Foundation, a nonprofit foundation devoted to providing assistance to individuals in the food and beverage industry who face major medical hardships.

    Sequoia Ross


    From tricycleurbanag.org

    Sequoia is a classically trained chef and a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. She is passionate about all things food and giving back to her community. Her role at Tricycle allows her to combine her love of food and people. Impacting the community positively through urban farming, food access and nutrition education are key components in “growing change” within an urban community.


    These great organizations will be hosting demo tables during the event

    Renew Richmond

    A non-profit organization that uses urban agriculture as a tool to mitigate poverty in underserved Richmond, VA, communities. We empower people to cultivate healthier lifestyles through the growth of wholesome food. That’s our mission!

    Compost RVA

    Compost RVA’s goal is to make composting as common as throwing things into the trash for all Virginians, enabling us to think before we waste.


    E.A.T. Foundation is a non-profit foundation, with a mission to eliminate food deserts. With each E.A.T. event, no less than 10% of the net proceeds are reserved for this goal. Our Mission: Strengthening communities around the table.

    Virginia Cooperation Extension

    Virginia Cooperative Extension is an educational outreach program of Virginia's land-grant universities: Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, and a part of the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture.


    Tricycle Gardens is a nonprofit organization with a mission to grow healthy food, healthy communities and a healthy local food system. Since breaking ground on our first garden, we have engaged thousands of neighbors and shown that the simple act of growing food is an incredibly powerful way to change the overall health of our community.

    Richmond Food CO-OP

    The Richmond Food Co-op will be a member-owned full service grocery store providing affordable, local, sustainable and healthy food options.

    Fit 4 Kids Greater Richmond

    Greater Richmond Fit4Kids is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving children’s health and reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity in the Richmond region. We do this by offering innovative programs that promote physical activity and healthy eating in schools, community organizations, and beyond.

    Neighborhood Resource Center

    Located in Greater Fulton, the Neighborhood Resource Center believes in community. The NRC strengthens individuals and communities by providing opportunities for neighbors to build relationships, access resources, and develop the skills to enhance their lives and determine the fate of the community. The Neighborhood Resource Center is about neighbors working together to reach personal and community goals.

    Peter Paul Development Center

    Peter Paul Development Center (PPDC) is an outreach and community center serving Church Hill and neighboring communities in Richmond’s East End. Founded in 1979, it is the oldest community-based agency continually serving Church Hill children and families. PPDC gives children a safe, consistent, structured, and loving environment in which to thrive, where staff and volunteers establish long-term relationships of trust and support for the children and their families.

    Shalom Farms

    The mission of Shalom Farms is to work with communities to ensure access to healthy food and the support to live healthy lives.

    Through sustainable food production and hands-on experiences at the farm and in the city, Shalom Farms provides thousands in Richmond with access to healthy food…and healthy lives.



    FeedMore is Central Virginia’s core hunger-relief organization dedicated to providing neighbors in need with healthy meals and hope for a better tomorrow. With a service area that stretches across 34 cities and counties, FeedMore helps the nearly 200,000 children, families and seniors in Central Virginia who struggle with hunger. Working to efficiently and effectively fight hunger, FeedMore’s multi-tiered approach, comprehensive programs and network of more than 300 partner agencies are dedicated to providing neighbors who face hunger with one of the most basic necessities: nourishment.

    Bon Secours


    Inspired by the example and tradition of the Sisters of Bon Secours, we strive to bring persons and communities to health and wholeness. In addition to providing health care services, we draw on our Catholic social justice tradition to contribute to the health of our communities, our nation and our world. Our tradition teaches us that each person is sacred and social. Based on this belief we are committed to fostering a dynamic and reflective organizational culture, and to decision-making based on our values and core commitments. We understand that to have a healthy community requires more than access to quality health care. The economic and political aspects of our society have an impact on how individuals grow and develop. Building a healthy community requires a systemic approach that addresses all basic human needs.

    Kidz R Cookin'


    Plant the seeds of health in children, youth, and families.
    To positively impact all those whom we come into contact with

  • Our Sponsors

    Thanks to our sponsors for their generous donations and contributions

    Baldor Foods

    The Neighborhood Resource Center has been working with Baldor Foods to prepare restaurant inspired meals for youth in Greater Fulton. It is through this business relationship that has opened up the opportunity for Baldor Foods is contribute many of the foods used in Kitchen Stadium and Recipe Boxes for the Jr Iron Chef RVA Competition.


    Whole Foods Market is a proud sponsor of our staple kitchen ingredients for our kitchen stadium.


    Hamilton Beach is graciously providing a good portion of the kitchen equipment that will be used in our Kitchen Stadium.

    Joyce Farms

    Joyce Farms is contributing heritage breed chicken and grass fed beef for our youth to cook up during the competition

    RVA Food Collaborative


    RVA Food Collaborative is a forum for communication, collaboration, and collective thought on food system issues in the Richmond region. It’s a way of sharing information about work being done, communicating about project needs, finding ways to be stronger together, and thinking like a community. Through this website and quarterly meetings we connect food system stakeholders with one another, because we believe that only by acting as a collective network can we be powerful enough to right our broken food system.

    In Harvest

    Another example of building great relationships with great vendors is our business relationship with In Harvest, a specialty grain, rice, and legume purveyor. In Harvest will be providing their staple grains, rice, and legumes as well as their unique blends for the Jr Iron Chef RVA Competition and recipe boxes.


    Union Market is sponsoring a portion of the cook book Good and Cheap that we will be giving away to community members during the competiton

  • Photos & Videos

    Take a look and enjoy!

    Creating Jr Chefs!

    A snap shot of some of our Jr Chefs!